The photosensitive pineal organ of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) transduces photic information into nycthemeral neuronal signals. To investigate origin, cellular localization, and functional significance of pineal catecholamines, we performed HPLC-analysis of catecholamines and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity, as well as immunocytochemical and electrophysiological studies. In biochemical and immunocytochemical investigations, pineal cells were found to contain endogenous TH. Using HPLC-analysis, the presence of a catecholamine precursor (L-dopa), catecholamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine), and a metabolite (DOPAC) was demonstrated. The release of L-dopa, dopamine and DOPAC from isolated pineal organs was shown by superfusion experiments. Extracellular recordings were used to monitor the action of dopaminergic drugs on electrical activity of ganglion cells. Dopamine increased the discharge activity of action potentials, whereas dopamine receptor antagonists resulted in a reduction of ganglion cell activity. Our data provide evidence for establishing dopamine as an intrinsic neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the photosensitive pineal organ of the rainbow trout.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|