Introductory Remarks on Regulation of Pineal Indoleamine Synthesis

Chairman’s Introduction
  • J. Axelrod
Conference paper
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 13)


The isolation and identification of the active principle in the bovine pineals causing blanching of the tadpole skin, initiated the modern era of pineal research. This compound was identified by Lerner and coworkers (1958) as methoxy-N-acetylserotonin and named melatonin. The characterization of melatonin, the presence of relatively large concentrations of the biogenic amine serotonin (Giarman and Day, 1959) and the noradrenergic innervation in the rat pineal (Kappers, 1960) stimulated pineal research in this organ in a variety of disciplines. This led to the elucidation of the biosynthesis and action of melatonin and its regulation, gave important insights regarding the generation of circadian rhtyhms, and the interaction between nerves and hormone producing cells.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Axelrod
    • 1
  1. 1.Section on Pharmacology, Laboratory of Clinical ScienceNational Institute of Mental Health, BethesdaBethesdaUSA

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