The role of GABA-ergic signal in the regulation of melatonin biosynthesis in vertebrate retina.

Article date: 1992/11/1

PubMed ID: 1305960

Journal name: Polish journal of pharmacology and pharmacy (ISSN: 0301-0244)


The in vivo effects of GABA-ergic drugs on the activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT), two enzymes involved in melatonin biosynthesis, were investigated in light-exposed chicken retina. The ip administration of muscimol and baclofen (direct agonists of GABA-A and GABA-B receptors, respectively), aminooxyacetic acid (an inhibitor of GABA transaminase), and nipecotic acid (an inhibitor of GABA reuptake), significantly increased the retinal NAT activity by 50-100%. Similar rises in NAT activity were observed following intraocular treatment of ether-anesthetized chickens with muscimol, baclofen and GABA. In contrast to NAT, there was no effect of the tested drugs on the retinal HIOMT activity. Aminophylline (a phosphodiesterase inhibitor) markedly elevated the retinal NAT activity, and a combined treatment with the GABA-ergic drugs and aminophylline resulted in additive effects. The actions of both muscimol and baclofen were antagonized by picrotoxin and bicuculline (two GABA-A receptor blockers), whereas the effect of baclofen was not changed by a selective GABA-B receptor blocker, CGP 35,348. Melatonin given ip significantly raised NAT activity, and its combination with muscimol further stimulated the enzyme. Picrotoxin and bicuculline given to chickens during the dark phase of 12 h light–12 h dark illumination cycle significantly suppressed the nocturnal NAT activity in retina. Neither GABA nor muscimol and baclofen significantly affected basal and forskolin (1 microM)-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity in vitro in light-exposed chicken retina. It is concluded that a GABA signal (acting through type A of GABA receptors) plays an important role in a complex mechanism regulating the rhythmic melatonin biosynthesis in vertebrate retina.

Author List: Kazula A, Nowak J Z

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Substances mentioned in the article: Nipecotic Acids; Aminooxyacetic Acid; nipecotic acid; Muscimol; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid; Proline; homoproline; Acetylserotonin O-Methyltransferase; Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase; Baclofen; Melatonin;

Mesh terms: Acetylserotonin O-Methyltransferase/metabolism; Aminooxyacetic Acid/administration & dosage; Animals; Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase/metabolism; Baclofen/administration & dosage; Chickens; Injections, Intraperitoneal; Light; Male; Melatonin/biosynthesis; Muscimol/administration & dosage; Nipecotic Acids/administration & dosage; Proline/analogs & derivatives; Retina/drug effects; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/pharmacology;

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