Pineal gland and polyamines

Research paper by F. Fraschini, M. E. Ferioli, R. Nebuloni, G. Scalabrino

Indexed on: 01 Sep '80Published on: 01 Sep '80Published in: Journal of Neural Transmission - Parkinson's Disease and Dementia Section


The activity of ornithine decarboxylase was assayed in several organs (thymus, testes, prostate gland, liver, kidneys, adenohypophysis, anterior hypothalamus, and adrenals) taken from adult male rats killed at seven day intervals up to six weeks after pinealectomy. The absence of the pineal gland particularly influences the ornithine decarboxylase activity in the thymus, in which the level of the enzyme is decreased irreversibly by the fourth week after the operation. In other organs the ornithine decarboxylase activity was often significantly different from that of corresponding shampinealectomized controls at various weeks after the surgical removal of the gland. Moreover, these differences between operated and sham-operated animals are sometimes positive, sometimes negative.Thus, the polyamine biosynthetic pathway in different organs appears to be regulated, directly or indirectly, by a new neuroendocrine centre, the pineal gland, and this pineal gland has thus been shown to be active in adult life in correlating endocrine-enzymatic functions.