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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Daily variation in the concentration of 5-methoxytryptophol and melatonin in the duck pineal gland and plasma.

The duck pineal gland rhythmically produces two 5-methoxyindole compounds, i.e. 5-methoxytryptophol and melatonin. 5-Methoxytryptophol levels are low at night and high during the day, while melatonin concentrations are high at night and low during the day. The melatonin rhythm reflects oscillations in the activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT; a penultimate and key regulatory enzyme in the melatonin biosynthetic pathway). The activity of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT; an enzyme involved in the synthesis of both 5-methoxytryptophol and melatonin) does not exhibit any significant rhythmic changes throughout the 24-hr period. Plasma levels of melatonin exhibited daily changes that were parallel to fluctuations in pineal melatonin content. Although plasma concentrations of 5-methoxytryptophol were low in ducks, they showed daily variations. The mean 5-methoxytryptophol concentration between zeitgeber time 9 (ZT9) and ZT15 was 2.4-times higher than the mean value for samples collected between ZT18 and ZT3. These findings indicate that in the duck the pineal production of 5-methoxytryptophol and melatonin may be inversely correlated.[1]


  1. Daily variation in the concentration of 5-methoxytryptophol and melatonin in the duck pineal gland and plasma. Zawilska, J.B., Rosiak, J., Vivien-Roels, B., Skene, D.J., Pévet, P., Nowak, J.Z. J. Pineal Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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