Circadian physiology in the vertebrate retina is regulated by several neurotransmitters. In the lateral eyes of the green iguana the circadian rhythm of melatonin content peaks during the night while the rhythm of dopamine peaks during the day. In the present work, the authors explore the interaction of these 2 neurotransmitters during the circadian cycle. They depleted retinal dopamine with intravitreal injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and measured ocular melatonin content in vivo throughout 1 circadian cycle. The circadian rhythm of ocular melatonin not only persisted but increased 10-fold in amplitude. This increase was substantially reduced by the intraocular administration of dopamine. 6-OHDA-treated retinas, unlike those from untreated animals, did not express a circadian rhythm of melatonin synthesis in vitro. To deplete retinal melatonin, the authors pinealectomized iguanas and blocked retinal melatonin synthesis by depleting serotonin with intraocular injections of 5,6-dihydroxytryptamine. In animals so treated, they found that the circadian rhythm of retinal dopamine content was abolished, the levels of dopamine were lowered, and the levels of dopamine metabolites were greatly increased. The data suggest that in iguanas, the amplitude of the circadian rhythm of melatonin synthesis in the eye is suppressed by dopamine while the rhythm of dopamine depends, at least in part, on the presence of melatonin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Physiology (medical)