Effects of constant light and darkness on the intrapineal neurons of golden hamsters, stained for tyrosine hydroxylase A morphometric analysis

Research paper by Y. Shiotani, Y. Kawai, K. L. Jin, H. Kiyama, L. -P. Lin

Indexed on: 01 Oct '90Published on: 01 Oct '90Published in: Journal of Neural Transmission - Parkinson's Disease and Dementia Section


Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons (TH neurons) were found in the pineal gland of golden hamsters. To examine possible relations between TH neurons and environmental light, we kept male animals under constant light (LL) and darkness (DD) for a week, and morphometrically compared the number, size, and immunoreactivity of TH neurons with those of control animals kept under 12L/12D (LD), using an image processor, Nexus 6400. In LL animals, the number of TH neurons/mm2 of pineal tissue and each cell area were decreased, and immunoreactivity to TH was less than in LD animals. In DD animals, the number of TH neurons and each cell area were increased, and immunoreactivity decreased slightly. These data suggested that environmental light affected the TH neurons, and the amount of TH in the neurons would be decreased by LL, but increased by DD.