Science.gov

Sample records for pineal neurohormone melatonin

  1. Pineal melatonin synthesis in Syrian hamsters: A summary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rollag, M. D.

    1982-12-01

    During the past decade there has been ample documentation of the proposition that the pineal gland mediates photoperiodic influences upon reproductive behavior of hamsters. It is commonly hypothesized that the pineal gland expresses its activity by transformation of photoperiodic information into an hormonal output, that hormone being melatonin. If this hypothesis is correct, there must be some essential diffrence in melatonin's output when hamsters are exposed to different photoperiodic environments. The experiments summarized in this communication analyze pineal melatonin contents in Syrian hamsters maintained in a variety of photoperiodic conditions during different physiological states. The results demonstrate that adult hamsters have a daily surge in pineal melatonin content throughout their lifetime when exposed to simulated annual photoperiodic cycles. There is some fluctuation in the amount of pineal melatonin produced during different physiological states and photoperiodic environments, but these fluctuations seem small when compared to those normally found for other regulatory hormones. When hamsters are exposed to different photoperiodic regimens, the daily melatonin surge maintains a relatively constant phase relationship with respect to the onset of daily activity. There is a concomitant change in its phase relationship with respect to light-dark transitions.

  2. Decreased melatonin biosynthesis, calcium flux, pineal gland calcification and aging: a hypothetical framework.

    PubMed

    Schmid, H A

    1993-01-01

    Increased pineal calcifications and decreased pineal melatonin biosynthesis, both age related, support the notion of a pineal bio-organic timing mechanism. Decreased calcium ion availability is the single common denominator of diminished beta-postreceptor- and alpha-receptor-stimulating functions in beta-receptor potentiation, which is necessary for nocturnal peak melatonin production. A comprehensive framework for the interaction of aging pineal cell mechanisms, calcium flux and melatonin biosynthesis is presented. PMID:8244046

  3. A new concept for melatonin deficit: on pineal calcification and melatonin excretion.

    PubMed

    Kunz, D; Schmitz, S; Mahlberg, R; Mohr, A; Stöter, C; Wolf, K J; Herrmann, W M

    1999-12-01

    Even though exogenous melatonin has proven to influence sleep and circadian parameters, low endogenous melatonin is not related to sleep disturbances, nor does it predict response to melatonin replacement therapy. In this manuscript, we present a new concept towards a definition of a melatonin deficit. The purpose of the study was to introduce a marker for an intra-individual decrease in melatonin production. Therefore, we developed a method to quantify the degree of pineal calcification (DOC) using cranial computed tomography. Combining pineal DOC with the organs's size, we estimated the uncalcified pineal gland volume. This estimation was positively and significantly associated with 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s), collected over 24 hours in urine, in 26 subjects. Data yielded evidence that the decline in aMT6s excretion with age can be sufficiently explained by an increased pineal calcification. These results suggest that DOC might be useful as an indicator of an intra-individual, decreased capability of the pineal gland to produce melatonin. DOC might prove to be a response-marker for melatonin replacement therapy and a vulnerability marker of the circadian timing system. PMID:10633482

  4. Adenosine triphosphate inhibits melatonin synthesis in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Souza-Teodoro, Luis Henrique; Dargenio-Garcia, Letícia; Petrilli-Lapa, Camila Lopes; Souza, Ewerton da Silva; Fernandes, Pedro A C M; Markus, Regina P; Ferreira, Zulma S

    2016-03-01

    Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is released onto the pinealocyte, along with noradrenaline, from sympathetic neurons and triggers P2Y1 receptors that enhance β-adrenergic-induced N-acetylserotonin (NAS) synthesis. Nevertheless, the biotransformation of NAS into melatonin, which occurs due to the subsequent methylation by acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT; EC 2.1.1.4), has not yet been evaluated in the presence of purinergic stimulation. We therefore evaluated the effects of purinergic signaling on melatonin synthesis induced by β-adrenergic stimulation. ATP increased NAS levels, but, surprisingly, inhibited melatonin synthesis in an inverse, concentration-dependent manner. Our results demonstrate that enhanced NAS levels, which depend on phospholipase C (PLC) activity (but not the induction of gene transcription), are a post-translational effect. By contrast, melatonin reduction is related to an ASMT inhibition of expression at both the gene transcription and protein levels. These results were independent of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) translocation. Neither the P2Y1 receptor activation nor the PLC-mediated pathway was involved in the decrease in melatonin, indicating that ATP regulates pineal metabolism through different mechanisms. Taken together, our data demonstrate that purinergic signaling differentially modulates NAS and melatonin synthesis and point to a regulatory role for ATP as a cotransmitter in the control of ASMT, the rate-limiting enzyme in melatonin synthesis. The endogenous production of melatonin regulates defense responses; therefore, understanding the mechanisms involving ASMT regulation might provide novel insights into the development and progression of neurological disorders since melatonin presents anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and neurogenic effects. PMID:26732366

  5. Pineal hormone melatonin: solubilization studies in model aqueous gastrointestinal environments.

    PubMed

    Vlachou, Marilena; Eikosipentaki, Aphrodite; Xenogiorgis, Vassilios

    2006-07-01

    In view of the variable oral absorption, short biological half-life and extensive first pass metabolism of the pineal hormone melatonin, an investigation of its solubilization profile in modified aqueous media is described. Four readily available surfactants were examined with respect to their ability to enhance the solubility of melatonin under simulated physiological conditions. The most effective surfactant was found to be the sodium salt of dioctyl sulfosuccinate (DSS), which augmented the aqueous solubility of the hormone by 23%. This is attributed to a favourable stereoelectronic interaction between DSS and the nucleus of melatonin, which seems to be independent of the pH of the dissolution medium. A noteworthy synergistic effect in the aqueous solubilization of the hormone occurs when a 1:2 DSS-sodium dodecyl sulphate mixture is used. PMID:16848727

  6. Evidence for 5-HT1A receptor control of pineal melatonin concentrations in the rat.

    PubMed

    Nathan, P J; Burrows, G D; Norman, T R

    1998-08-01

    The effect of some serotonin agonists on day and night-time melatonin in the pineal gland was investigated in male rats. Dose dependent increases in nocturnal melatonin concentrations were observed for all serotonin agonists investigated. Statistically significant increases were observed only for D-fenfluramine (20 mg/kg) and the full 5-HT1A agonists S(+)-20499 (10 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg) and flesinoxan (20 mg/kg). Both paroxetine and D-fenfluramine dose dependently increased day-time pineal melatonin, but only for D-fenfluramine (20 mg/kg) was there a statistically significant increase. The data suggest that acute increases in synaptic serotonin concentrations can be used to manipulate day- or night-time melatonin. Data suggests an influence of the 5-HT1A receptor subtype in mediating nocturnal melatonin concentrations, perhaps through a functional coupling to beta1-adrenoceptors on the pineal gland. PMID:9716310

  7. Melatonin

    MedlinePlus

    ... may be used in these pills: natural and synthetic (manmade). Natural melatonin is made from the pineal ... a virus so it is not recommended. The synthetic form of melatonin does not carry this risk. ...

  8. Pineal and circulating melatonin rhythms in the box turtle, Terrapene carolina triunguis: effect of photoperiod, light pulse, and environmental temperature.

    PubMed

    Vivien-Roels, B; Pévet, P; Claustrat, B

    1988-02-01

    Pineal and circulating melatonin concentrations have been measured throughout the 24-hr cycle in the box turtle, Terrapene carolina triunguis, under different conditions of photoperiod and temperature. An obvious effect of photoperiod on the duration of the night rise of pineal and circulating melatonin is observed; the period of elevated melatonin is 4.30 hr in long photoperiod (18L:6D) and 11.00 hr in short photoperiod (8L:16D). A single pulse of 1 hr illumination beginning 1.30 hr after the onset of darkness, in a 16L:8D cycle, has no effect on pineal or circulating melatonin levels. A clear effect of environmental temperature on the amplitude of the day-night rhythm of melatonin production is observed. A possible role of the pineal of poikilotherms in the transduction of several environmental factors, via the daily pattern of melatonin secretion, is hypothesized. PMID:3366352

  9. Effect of L-NAME-induced hypertension on melatonin receptors and melatonin levels in the pineal gland and the peripheral organs of rats.

    PubMed

    Benova, Miroslava; Herichova, Iveta; Stebelova, Katarina; Paulis, Ludovit; Krajcirovicova, Kristina; Simko, Fedor; Zeman, Michal

    2009-04-01

    Melatonin plays a role in blood pressure (BP) control. The aim of this study was to determine whether melatonin concentrations and melatonin receptor levels are altered in L-NAME-treated, NO-deficient hypertensive rats. Two groups of male adult Wistar rats were investigated: rats (n=36) treated with NO-synthase inhibitor L-NAME (40 mg kg(-1)) and age-matched controls (n=36). BP was measured weekly by tail-cuff plethysmography. After 4 weeks, L-NAME administration increased BP (178+/-1 vs. control 118+/-1 mm Hg). At the end of treatment, rats were killed in regular 4 h intervals over a 24-h period. Melatonin concentrations in the plasma, pineal gland, heart and kidney and melatonin receptor (MT(1)) density in the aorta were determined. A significant daily rhythm of melatonin concentrations was found in the blood, pineal gland, kidney and heart of both control and hypertensive rats. Peak nighttime pineal melatonin concentrations were higher in L-NAME-treated rats than in controls (3.38+/-0.48 vs. 1.75+/-0.33 ng per pineal gland). No differences between both groups were found in melatonin concentrations in blood, kidney and heart or in the MT(1) receptor density in the aorta. Our results suggest that L-NAME treatment enhances melatonin production in the pineal gland, potentially by decreasing an inhibitory effect of NO on melatonin production in the pineal gland. However, the enhanced pineal melatonin formation was insufficient to increase melatonin concentrations in circulation, heart and kidney of L-NAME-treated rats, indicating an increased use of melatonin in hypertensive animals. PMID:19262491

  10. Negative regulation of cytosolic phospholipase A(2) by melatonin in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed Central

    Li, B; Zhang, H; Akbar, M; Kim, H Y

    2000-01-01

    In this paper evidence that supports a new role for melatonin as a negative endogenous regulator of cytosolic phospholipase A(2) (cPLA(2)) is presented. When rat pineal glands were incubated in culture, time-dependent release of arachidonic acid (AA) was observed, which was significantly inhibited by a known 85-kDa cPLA(2) inhibitor, methyl arachidonyl fluorophosphonate. Co-incubation with melatonin inhibited the AA release in a concentration-dependent manner, and this decrease was accompanied by a reduction of cPLA(2) protein and mRNA expression. Melatonin-receptor agonists, 2-iodo-N-butanoyl-5-methoxytryptamine and 5-methoxycarbonylamino-N-acetyltryptamine, also decreased AA release and cPLA(2) protein and mRNA levels, while pre-incubation with the melatonin receptor antagonists luzindole and 2-phenylmelatonin abolished the melatonin effect. In vivo, as melatonin production reflected a typical diurnal variation, endogenous non-esterified AA and cPLA(2) mRNA levels in the rat pineal gland showed an off-phase diurnal pattern in relation to melatonin levels. Intravenous administration of isoproterenol, which has been shown to elevate melatonin production, also decreased the levels of non-esterified AA and cPLA(2) mRNA significantly. Direct administration of melatonin to rats by intravenous injection decreased the levels of non-esterified AA, cPLA(2) protein and mRNA in rat pineal glands. In conclusion, melatonin endogenously down-regulates cPLA(2) expression, presumably through melatonin-receptor-mediated processes. PMID:11042126

  11. 60-Hz electric-field effects on pineal melatonin rhythms: time course for onset and recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, B.W.; Chess, E.K.; Anderson, L.E.

    1986-01-01

    Rats exposed for 3 weeks to uniform 60-Hz electric fields of 39 kV/m (effective field strength) failed to show normal pineal gland circadian rhythms in serotonin N-acetyl transferase activity and melatonin concentrations. The time required for recovery of the melatonin rhythm after cessation of field exposure was determined to be less than 3 days. The rapid recovery suggests that the overall metabolic competence of the pineal is not permanently compromised by electric-field exposure, and that the circadian rhythm effect may be neuronally mediated.

  12. Nocturnal headache associated with melatonin deficiency due to a pineal gland cyst.

    PubMed

    Karadaş, Omer; Ipekdal, Ilker H; Ulaş, Umit H; Odabaşi, Zeki

    2012-02-01

    The cyclic nature of some of headache disorders is closely related to melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland. We report a 29-year-old male patient with a 2.5-year history of headaches that woke him in the middle of the night. These headaches were pulsatile and continued until sunrise. During these attacks he also suffered from allodynia over the scalp, bilateral conjunctival hyperemia, and nervousness. His brain MRI showed a 5mm by 4mm neuroepithelial cyst in the pineal gland. The peak plasma melatonin level that was measured at 2 am was 28 pg/mL. The patient underwent oral melatonin treatment (6 mg/day). After 1 month he experienced a 70% reduction in his symptoms. When the melatonin dosage was increased to 10mg/day he became headache-free, and 5 months after the treatment began, had no complaints. His 5-month follow-up plasma melatonin level at 2 am was 61 pg/mL. To our knowledge this is the first report of a patient with nocturnal headache associated with a low level of melatonin due to a neuroepithelial cyst in the pineal gland. PMID:22136735

  13. Insulin modulates norepinephrine-mediated melatonin synthesis in cultured rat pineal gland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The mammalian pineal gland synthesizes melatonin in a circadian manner, peaking during the dark phase. This synthesis is primarily regulated by sympathetic innervations via noradrenergic fibers, but is also modulated by many peptidergic and hormonal systems. A growing number of studies reveal a comp...

  14. Pineal oscillator functioning in the chicken--effect of photoperiod and melatonin.

    PubMed

    Turkowska, Elzbieta; Majewski, Pawel M; Rai, Seema; Skwarlo-Sonta, Krystyna

    2014-02-01

    The avian pineal gland, apart from the hypothalamic master clock (suprachiasmatic nuclei, SCN) and retina, functions as an independent circadian oscillator, receiving external photic cues that it translates into the rhythmical synthesis of melatonin, a biochemical signal of darkness. Functional similarity to the mammalian SCN makes the avian pineal gland a convenient model for studies on biological clock mechanisms in general. Pineal melatonin is produced not only in a light-dependent manner but also remains under the control of the endogenous oscillator, while the possible involvement of melatonin in maintaining cyclic expression of the avian clock genes remains to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to characterize the diurnal profiles of main clock genes transcription in the pineal glands of chickens exposed to continuous light (LL) and supplemented with exogenous melatonin. We hypothesized that rearing chickens from the day of hatch under LL conditions would evoke a functional pinealectomy, influencing, in turn, pineal clock function. To verify this hypothesis, we examined the diurnal transcriptional profiles of selected clock genes as well as the essential parameters of pineal gland function: transcription of the genes encoding arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (Aanat), a key enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis, and the melatonin receptor (Mel1c), along with the blood melatonin level. Chickens hatched in summer or winter were maintained under LD 16:8 and 8:16, corresponding to the respective photoperiods, as the seasonal control groups. Another set of chickens was kept in parallel under LL conditions and some were supplemented with melatonin to check the ability of exogenous hormone to antagonize the effects evoked by continuous light. Twelve-day-old chickens were sacrificed every 3 h over a 24-h period and the mRNAs of selected clock genes, Bmal1, Cry1, Per3, E4bp4, together with those of Aanat and Mel1c, were quantified in the isolated pineal

  15. Clock-Controlled Regulation of the Acute Effects of Norepinephrine on Chick Pineal Melatonin Rhythms.

    PubMed

    Li, Ye; Cassone, Vincent M

    2015-12-01

    The chicken pineal gland synthesizes and releases melatonin rhythmically in light/dark (LD) cycles, with high melatonin levels during the dark phase, and in constant darkness (DD) for several cycles before it gradually damps to arrhythmicity in DD. Daily administration of norepinephrine (NE) in vivo and in vitro prevents the damping and restores the melatonin rhythm. To investigate the role of the circadian clock on melatonin rhythm damping and of its restoration by NE, the effects of NE administration at different phases of the melatonin cycle revealed a robust rhythm in NE sensitivity in which NE efficacy in increasing melatonin amplitude peaked in late subjective night and early subjective day, suggesting a clock underlying NE sensitivity. However, NE itself had no effect on circadian phase or period of the melatonin rhythms. Transcriptional analyses indicated that even though the rhythm of melatonin output damped to arrhythmicity, messenger RNA (mRNA) encoding clock genes gper2, gper3, gBmal1, gclock, gcry1, and gcry2; enzymes associated with melatonin biosynthesis; and enzymes involved in cyclic nucleotide signaling remained robustly rhythmic. Of these, only gADCY1 (adenylate cyclase 1) and gPDE4D (cAMP-specific 3',5'-cyclic phosphodiesterase 4D) were affected by NE administration at the mRNA levels, and only ADCY1 was affected at the protein level. The data strongly suggest that damping of the melatonin rhythm in the chick pineal gland occurs at the posttranscriptional level and that a major role of the clock is to regulate pinealocytes' sensitivity to neuronal input from the brain. PMID:26446873

  16. Interleukin-1β Modulates Melatonin Secretion in Ovine Pineal Gland: Ex Vivo Study

    PubMed Central

    Herman, A. P.; Bochenek, J.; Skipor, J.; Król, K.; Krawczyńska, A.; Antushevich, H.; Pawlina, B.; Marciniak, E.; Tomaszewska-Zaremba, D.

    2015-01-01

    The study was designed to determine the effect of proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin- (IL-) 1β, on melatonin release and expression enzymes essential for this hormone synthesis: arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) in ovine pineal gland, taking into account the immune status of animals before sacrificing. Ewes were injected by lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 400 ng/kg) or saline, two hours after sunset during short day period (December). Animals were euthanized three hours after the injection. Next, the pineal glands were collected and divided into four explants. The explants were incubated with (1) medium 199 (control explants), (2) norepinephrine (NE; 10 µM), (3) IL-1β (75 pg/mL), or (4) NE + IL-1β. It was found that IL-1β abolished (P < 0.05) NE-induced increase in melatonin release. Treatment with IL-1β also reduced (P < 0.05) expression of AA-NAT enzyme compared to NE-treated explants. There was no effect of NE or IL-1β treatment on gene expression of HIOMT; however, the pineal fragments isolated from LPS-treated animals were characterized by elevated (P < 0.05) expression of HIOMT mRNA and protein compared to the explants from saline-treated ewes. Our study proves that IL-1β suppresses melatonin secretion and its action seems to be targeted on the reduction of pineal AA-NAT protein expression. PMID:26339621

  17. Effect of variable temperatures, darkness and light on the secretion of melatonin by pineal explants in the gecko, Christinus marmoratus.

    PubMed

    Moyer, R W; Firth, B T; Kennaway, D J

    1997-02-01

    This study examined the combined effect of thermocycles with either variable or constant photic conditions on melatonin production by pineal organs in vitro in the gecko, Christinus marmoratus. A 30 degrees C:15 degrees C thermocycle elicited a rhythm of melatonin production under conditions of 12L:12D, constant light or constant darkness when the cryophase coincided with the dark phase of the photocycle or with the subjective night. A 6 h advance of the thermocycle with respect to the photocycle produced an advance in the onset and offset of melatonin production in subsequent nights. When the thermocycle was 180 degrees out of phase with the photoperiod, the rhythm of melatonin production was disrupted, suggesting a differential pattern of sensitivity to photothermal stimuli. It was concluded that both light and temperature are important modulators of pineal function although their combined effects on pineal melatonin production is complex and unclear. PMID:9045997

  18. Pineal melatonin acts as a circadian zeitgeber and growth factor in chick astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Paulose, Jiffin K.; Peters, Jennifer L.; Karaganis, Stephen P.; Cassone, Vincent M.

    2009-01-01

    Melatonin is rhythmically synthesized and released by the avian pineal gland and retina during the night, targeting an array of tissues and affecting a variety of physiological and behavioral processes. Among these targets, astrocytes express two melatonin receptor subtypes in vitro, the Mel1A and Mel1C receptors, which play a role in regulating metabolic activity and calcium homeostasis in these cells. Molecular characterization of chick astrocytes has revealed the expression of orthologs of the mammalian clock genes including clock, cry1, cry2, per2, and per3. To test the hypothesis that pineal melatonin entrains molecular clockworks in downstream cells, we asked whether coculturing astrocytes with pinealocytes or administration of exogenous melatonin cycles would entrain metabolic rhythms of 2-deoxy [14C]-glucose (2DG] uptake and/or clock gene expression in cultured astrocytes. Rhythmic secretion of melatonin from light-entrained pinealocytes in coculture as well as cyclic administration of exogenous melatonin entrained rhythms of 2DG uptake and expression of Gallus per2 (gper2) and/or gper3, but not of gcry1 mRNA. Surprisingly, melatonin also caused a dose-dependent increase in mitotic activity of astrocytes, both in coculture and when administered exogenously. The observation that melatonin stimulates mitotic activity in diencephalic astrocytes suggests a trophic role of the hormone in brain development. The data suggest a dual role for melatonin in avian astrocytes: synchronization of rhythmic processes in these cells and regulation of growth and differentiation. These two processes may or may not be mutually exclusive. PMID:19196435

  19. Pineal melatonin acts as a circadian zeitgeber and growth factor in chick astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Paulose, Jiffin K; Peters, Jennifer L; Karaganis, Stephen P; Cassone, Vincent M

    2009-04-01

    Melatonin is rhythmically synthesized and released by the avian pineal gland and retina during the night, targeting an array of tissues and affecting a variety of physiological and behavioral processes. Among these targets, astrocytes express two melatonin receptor subtypes in vitro, the Mel(1A) and Mel(1C) receptors, which play a role in regulating metabolic activity and calcium homeostasis in these cells. Molecular characterization of chick astrocytes has revealed the expression of orthologs of the mammalian clock genes including clock, cry1, cry2, per2, and per3. To test the hypothesis that pineal melatonin entrains molecular clockworks in downstream cells, we asked whether coculturing astrocytes with pinealocytes or administration of exogenous melatonin cycles would entrain metabolic rhythms of 2-deoxy [14C]-glucose (2DG] uptake and/or clock gene expression in cultured astrocytes. Rhythmic secretion of melatonin from light-entrained pinealocytes in coculture as well as cyclic administration of exogenous melatonin entrained rhythms of 2DG uptake and expression of Gallus per2 (gper2) and/or gper3, but not of gcry1 mRNA. Surprisingly, melatonin also caused a dose-dependent increase in mitotic activity of astrocytes, both in coculture and when administered exogenously. The observation that melatonin stimulates mitotic activity in diencephalic astrocytes suggests a trophic role of the hormone in brain development. The data suggest a dual role for melatonin in avian astrocytes: synchronization of rhythmic processes in these cells and regulation of growth and differentiation. These two processes may or may not be mutually exclusive. PMID:19196435

  20. Structural and functional evolution of the pineal melatonin system in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Falcón, Jack; Besseau, Laurence; Fuentès, Michael; Sauzet, Sandrine; Magnanou, Elodie; Boeuf, Gilles

    2009-04-01

    In most species daily rhythms are synchronized by the photoperiodic cycle. They are generated by the circadian system, which is made of a pacemaker, an entrainment pathway to this clock, and one or more output signals. In vertebrates, melatonin produced by the pineal organ is one of these outputs. The production of this time-keeping hormone is high at night and low during the day. Despite the fact that this is a well-preserved pattern, the pathways through which the photoperiodic information controls the rhythm have been profoundly modified from early vertebrates to mammals. The photoperiodic control is direct in fish and frogs and indirect in mammals. In the former, full circadian systems are found in photoreceptor cells of the pineal organ, retina, and possibly brain, thus forming a network where melatonin could be a hormonal synchronizer. In the latter, the three elements of a circadian system are scattered: the photoreceptive units are in the eyes, the clocks are in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus, and the melatonin-producing units are in the pineal cells. Intermediate situations are observed in sauropsids. Differences are also seen at the level of the arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the enzyme responsible for the daily variations in melatonin production. In contrast to tetrapods, teleost fish AANATs are duplicated and display tissue-specific expression; also, pineal AANAT is special--it responds to temperature in a species-specific manner, which reflects the fish ecophysiological preferences. This review summarizes anatomical, structural, and molecular aspects of the evolution of the melatonin-producing system in vertebrates. PMID:19456332

  1. Cysteamine effects on somatostatin, catecholamines, pineal NAT and melatonin in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Webb, S.M.; Champney, T.H.; Steger, R.W.; Vaughan, M.K.; Reiter, R.J.

    1986-03-01

    The thiol reagent cysteamine was administered to adult male rats with the aim of investigating its effect on different neural and pineal components. As expected, immunoreactive somatostatin decreased in the median eminence (ME) (p less than 0.05) and gastric antrum (p less than 0.05) after cysteamine; however, no significant change was observed in the pineal IRS content after drug treatment. A decrease in norepinephrine was observed in the ME (p less than 0.001), hypothalamus (p less than 0.001) and pineal gland (p less than 0.05), together with a rise in ME (p less than 0.005) and hypothalamic dopamine (p less than 0.005) content; these results are consistent with a dopamine-beta-hydroxylase inhibiting effect of cysteamine. No effect was observed on hypothalamic serotonin and 5-hydroxyindole-acetic acid content. Pineal N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity was significantly higher (p less than 0.05) after cysteamine than after saline, but no statistically significant effect was observed on pineal melatonin content. The mechanism involved in the NAT rise is presumably not related to the known stimulatory effect of norepinephrine, which fell after cysteamine. It is suggested that cysteamine may act at an intracellular level, inhibiting NAT degradation, an effect demonstrated in vitro and thought to be related to a thiol:disulfide exchange mechanism.

  2. Mechanisms regulating the marked seasonal variation in melatonin synthesis in the European hamster pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Garidou, Marie-Laure; Vivien-Roels, Berthe; Pevet, Paul; Miguez, Jesus; Simonneaux, Valerie

    2003-04-01

    Like many wild species, the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) adapts to the marked seasonal changes in its environment, namely by hibernation and inhibition of sexual activity in winter. These annual functions are driven by the variation in the environmental factors (light, temperature) that are transmitted to the body through large variations in the duration and amplitude of the nocturnal melatonin rhythm. Here we report that the seasonal variation in melatonin synthesis is mainly driven by arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase gene transcription and enzyme activation. This, however, does not exclude participation of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase, which may relay environmental temperature information. The in vivo experiments show that norepinephrine stimulates melatonin synthesis, this effect being gated at night. The possibility that the variation in pineal metabolism depends on a seasonal change in the suprachiasmatic nuclei clock circadian activity that is transmitted by norepinephrine is discussed. PMID:12626365

  3. Calcium, calcification, and melatonin biosynthesis in the human pineal gland: a postmortem study into age-related factors.

    PubMed

    Schmid, H A; Requintina, P J; Oxenkrug, G F; Sturner, W

    1994-05-01

    It is believed that pineal calcification may be age-associated and that the well-demonstrated age-related decline in melatonin biosynthesis may be an expression of an alteration in calcium homeostasis in the pinealocyte. Prior correlations of melatonin to calcium deposition and age were made on the basis of radiological or semiquantitative analysis. In this postmortem study of 33 subjects (age range 3 months to 65 years) calcium deposits measured by atomic absorption spectrometry correlated positively with age in day and night samples (day: r = 0.56, P < 0.05; night: r = 0.818, P < 0.001). Nighttime (2200 h to 0800 h) pineal melatonin content (HPLC fluorometry) was higher than daytime melatonin levels (nighttime 3.80 +/- 0.3 vs. daytime 0.85 +/- 0.4 ng/mg protein). Nighttime calcium levels in the supernatant correlated negatively with melatonin content (r = -0.59, P < 0.05). PMID:7807371

  4. Genetic, temporal and developmental differences between melatonin rhythm generating systems in the teleost fish pineal organ and retina.

    PubMed

    Falcón, J; Gothilf, Y; Coon, S L; Boeuf, G; Klein, D C

    2003-04-01

    Complete melatonin rhythm generating systems, including photodetector, circadian clock and melatonin synthesis machinery, are located within individual photoreceptor cells in two sites in Teleost fish: the pineal organ and retina. In both, light regulates daily variations in melatonin secretion by controlling the activity of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). However, in each species examined to date, marked differences exist between the two organs which may involve the genes encoding the photopigments, genes encoding AANAT, the times of day at which AANAT activity and melatonin production peak and the developmental schedule. We review the fish pineal and retinal melatonin rhythm generating systems and consider the evolutional pressures and other factors which led to these differences. PMID:12622837

  5. The influence of season, photoperiod, and pineal melatonin on immune function.

    PubMed

    Nelson, R J; Demas, G E; Klein, S L; Kriegsfeld, L J

    1995-11-01

    In addition to the well-documented seasonal cycles of mating and birth, there are also significant seasonal cycles of illness and death among many animal populations. Challenging winter conditions (i.e., low ambient temperature and decreased food availability) can directly induce death via hypothermia, starvation, or shock. Coping with these challenges can also indirectly increase morbidity and mortality by increasing glucocorticoid secretion, which can compromise immune function. Many environmental challenges are recurrent and thus predictable; animals could enhance survival, and presumably increase fitness, if they could anticipate immunologically challenging conditions in order to cope with these seasonal threats to health. The annual cycle of changing photoperiod provides an accurate indicator of time of year and thus allows immunological adjustments prior to the deterioration of conditions. Pineal melatonin codes day length information. Short day lengths enhance several aspects of immune function in laboratory studies, and melatonin appears to mediate many of the enhanced immunological effects of photoperiod. Generally, field studies report compromised immune function during the short days of autumn and winter. The conflict between laboratory and field data is addressed with a multifactor approach. The evidence for seasonal fluctuations in lymphatic tissue size and structure, as well as immune function and disease processes, is reviewed. The role of pineal melatonin and the hormones regulated by melatonin is discussed from an evolutionary and adaptive functional perspective. Finally, the clinically significance of seasonal fluctuations in immune function is presented. Taken together, it appears that seasonal fluctuations in immune parameters, mediated by melatonin, could have profound effects on the etiology and progression of diseases in humans and nonhuman animals. An adaptive functional perspective is critical to gain insights into the interaction among

  6. Pineal melatonin is a circadian time-giver for leptin rhythm in Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Chakir, Ibtissam; Dumont, Stéphanie; Pévet, Paul; Ouarour, Ali; Challet, Etienne; Vuillez, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Nocturnal secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland may affect central and peripheral timing, in addition to its well-known involvement in the control of seasonal physiology. The Syrian hamster is a photoperiodic species, which displays gonadal atrophy and increased adiposity when adapted to short (winter-like) photoperiods. Here we investigated whether pineal melatonin secreted at night can impact daily rhythmicity of metabolic hormones and glucose in that seasonal species. For that purpose, daily variations of plasma leptin, cortisol, insulin and glucose were analyzed in pinealectomized hamsters, as compared to sham-operated controls kept under very long (16 h light/08 h dark) or short photoperiods (08 h light/16 h dark). Daily rhythms of leptin under both long and short photoperiods were blunted by pinealectomy. Furthermore, the phase of cortisol rhythm under a short photoperiod was advanced by 5.6 h after pinealectomy. Neither plasma insulin, nor blood glucose displays robust daily rhythmicity, even in sham-operated hamsters. Pinealectomy, however, totally reversed the decreased levels of insulin under short days and the photoperiodic variations in mean levels of blood glucose (i.e., reduction and increase in long and short days, respectively). Together, these findings in Syrian hamsters show that circulating melatonin at night drives the daily rhythmicity of plasma leptin, participates in the phase control of cortisol rhythm and modulates glucose homeostasis according to photoperiod-dependent metabolic state. PMID:26074760

  7. Pineal melatonin is a circadian time-giver for leptin rhythm in Syrian hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Chakir, Ibtissam; Dumont, Stéphanie; Pévet, Paul; Ouarour, Ali; Challet, Etienne; Vuillez, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Nocturnal secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland may affect central and peripheral timing, in addition to its well-known involvement in the control of seasonal physiology. The Syrian hamster is a photoperiodic species, which displays gonadal atrophy and increased adiposity when adapted to short (winter-like) photoperiods. Here we investigated whether pineal melatonin secreted at night can impact daily rhythmicity of metabolic hormones and glucose in that seasonal species. For that purpose, daily variations of plasma leptin, cortisol, insulin and glucose were analyzed in pinealectomized hamsters, as compared to sham-operated controls kept under very long (16 h light/08 h dark) or short photoperiods (08 h light/16 h dark). Daily rhythms of leptin under both long and short photoperiods were blunted by pinealectomy. Furthermore, the phase of cortisol rhythm under a short photoperiod was advanced by 5.6 h after pinealectomy. Neither plasma insulin, nor blood glucose displays robust daily rhythmicity, even in sham-operated hamsters. Pinealectomy, however, totally reversed the decreased levels of insulin under short days and the photoperiodic variations in mean levels of blood glucose (i.e., reduction and increase in long and short days, respectively). Together, these findings in Syrian hamsters show that circulating melatonin at night drives the daily rhythmicity of plasma leptin, participates in the phase control of cortisol rhythm and modulates glucose homeostasis according to photoperiod-dependent metabolic state. PMID:26074760

  8. Comparison of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and Fluorescent Light on Suppression of Pineal Melatonin in the Rat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winget, Charles M.; Heeke, D. S.; Holley, D. C.; Mele, G.; Brainard, G. C.; Hanifin, J. P.; Rollag, M. D.; Savage, Paul D. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    To validate a novel LED array for use in animal habitat lighting by comparing its effectiveness to cool-white fluorescent (CWF) lighting in suppressing pineal gland melatonin. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, 175-200 g, were maintained under control conditions for 2 weeks (food and water ad lib, 12L: 12D CWF, 18 uW/square cm). Dark adapted animals (animals before lights on) were exposed to 5 min of LED or CWF light of similar spectral power distribution. Two groups of rats (LED vs. CWF) were compared at 5 light intensities (100, 40, 1, 1.0, and 0. 1 lux). A control group was placed into the exposure apparatus but not exposed to light. After exposure, pineal glands were rapidly removed and assayed for melatonin by RIA. Results. The dark-exposed control groups matched with the 5 intensity groups (100, 40, 10, 1.0, and 0.1 lux) showed mean + SEM pineal melatonin values of 1167 +/- 136, 1569 +/- 126, 353 +/- 34, 650 +/- 124, and 464 +/- 85, pg/ml respectively. The corresponding CWF exposure data were 393 1 41, 365 +34, 257 +/- 13, 218 +/- 42, and 239 +/- 71 pg/ml, respectively. Corresponding LED exposure data were 439 +/- 25, 462 +/- 50, 231 +/- 6, 164 +/- 12, and 158 +/- 12 pg/ml, respectively. Rats exposed to both experimental light conditions at all illuminances studied showed significant melatonin suppression (p less than 0.01, ANOVA). In no case was the melatonin suppression induced by LED illuminance significantly different from the melatonin suppression elicited by the same intensity of CWF light. The results show that a novel LED light source can suppress pineal melatonin equal to that of a conventional CWF light source.

  9. Melatonin Synthesis: Acetylserotonin O-Methyltransferase (ASMT) Is Strongly Expressed in a Subpopulation of Pinealocytes in the Male Rat Pineal Gland.

    PubMed

    Rath, Martin F; Coon, Steven L; Amaral, Fernanda G; Weller, Joan L; Møller, Morten; Klein, David C

    2016-05-01

    The rat pineal gland has been extensively used in studies of melatonin synthesis. However, the cellular localization of melatonin synthesis in this species has not been investigated. Here we focus on the localization of melatonin synthesis using immunohistochemical methods to detect the last enzyme in melatonin synthesis, acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT), and in situ hybridization techniques to study transcripts encoding ASMT and two other enzymes in melatonin synthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH)-1 and aralkylamine N-acetyltransferase. In sections of the rat pineal gland, marked cell-to-cell differences were found in ASMT immunostaining intensity and in the abundance of Tph1, Aanat, and Asmt transcripts. ASMT immunoreactivity was localized to the cytoplasm in pinealocytes in the parenchyma of the superficial pineal gland, and immunopositive pinealocytes were also detected in the pineal stalk and in the deep pineal gland. ASMT was found to inconsistently colocalize with S-antigen, a widely used pinealocyte marker; this colocalization was seen in cells throughout the pineal complex and also in displaced pinealocyte-like cells of the medial habenular nucleus. Inconsistent colocalization between ASMT and TPH protein was also detected in the pineal gland. ASMT protein was not detected in extraepithalamic parts of the central nervous system or in peripheral tissues. The findings in this report are of special interest because they provide reason to suspect that melatonin synthesis varies significantly among individual pinealocytes. PMID:26950199

  10. Pineal melatonin level disruption in humans due to electromagnetic fields and ICNIRP limits.

    PubMed

    Halgamuge, Malka N

    2013-05-01

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as 'possibly carcinogenic' to humans that might transform normal cells into cancer cells. Owing to high utilisation of electricity in day-to-day life, exposure to power-frequency (50 or 60 Hz) EMFs is unavoidable. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by pineal gland activity in the brain that regulates the body's sleep-wake cycle. How man-made EMFs may influence the pineal gland is still unsolved. The pineal gland is likely to sense EMFs as light but, as a consequence, may decrease the melatonin production. In this study, more than one hundred experimental data of human and animal studies of changes in melatonin levels due to power-frequency electric and magnetic fields exposure were analysed. Then, the results of this study were compared with the International Committee of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) limit and also with the existing experimental results in the literature for the biological effect of magnetic fields, in order to quantify the effects. The results show that this comparison does not seem to be consistent despite the fact that it offers an advantage of drawing attention to the importance of the exposure limits to weak EMFs. In addition to those inconsistent results, the following were also observedfrom this work: (i) the ICNIRP recommendations are meant for the well-known acute effects, because effects of the exposure duration cannot be considered and (ii) the significance of not replicating the existing experimental studies is another limitation in the power-frequency EMFs. Regardless of these issues, the above observation agrees with our earlier study in which it was confirmed that it is not a reliable method to characterise biological effects by observing only the ratio of AC magnetic field strength to frequency. This is because exposure duration does not include the ICNIRP limit. Furthermore, the results show the significance of

  11. In the Heat of the Night: Thermo-TRPV Channels in the Salmonid Pineal Photoreceptors and Modulation of Melatonin Secretion.

    PubMed

    Nisembaum, Laura Gabriela; Besseau, Laurence; Paulin, Charles-Hubert; Charpantier, Alice; Martin, Patrick; Magnanou, Elodie; Fuentès, Michael; Delgado, Maria-Jesus; Falcón, Jack

    2015-12-01

    Photoperiod plays an essential role in the synchronization of metabolism, physiology, and behavior to the cyclic variations of the environment. In vertebrates, information is relayed by the pineal cells and translated into the nocturnal production of melatonin. The duration of this signal corresponds to the duration of the night. In fish, the pinealocytes are true photoreceptors in which the amplitude of the nocturnal surge is modulated by temperature in a species-dependent manner. Thus, the daily and annual variations in the amplitude and duration of the nocturnal melatonin signal provide information on daily and calendar time. Both light and temperature act on the activity of the penultimate enzyme in the melatonin biosynthesis pathway, the arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (serotonin → N-acetylserotonin). Although the mechanisms of the light/dark regulation of melatonin secretion are quite well understood, those of temperature remain unelucidated. More generally, the mechanisms of thermoreception are unknown in ectotherms. Here we provide the first evidence that two thermotransient receptor potential (TRP) channels, TRPV1 and TRPV4, are expressed in the pineal photoreceptor cells of a teleost fish, in which they modulate melatonin secretion in vitro. The effects are temperature dependent, at least for TRPV1. Our data support the idea that the pineal of fish is involved in thermoregulation and that the pineal photoreceptors are also thermoreceptors. In other nervous and nonnervous tissues, TRPV1 and TRPV4 display a ubiquitous but quantitatively variable distribution. These results are a fundamental step in the elucidation of the mechanisms of temperature transduction in fish. PMID:26389691

  12. CSF generation by pineal gland results in a robust melatonin circadian rhythm in the third ventricle as an unique light/dark signal.

    PubMed

    Tan, Dun-Xian; Manchester, Lucien C; Reiter, Russel J

    2016-01-01

    Pineal gland is an important organ for the regulation of the bio-clock in all vertebrate species. Its major secretory product is melatonin which is considered as the chemical expression of darkness due to its circadian peak exclusively at night. Pineal melatonin can be either released into the blood stream or directly enter into the CSF of the third ventricle via the pineal recess. We have hypothesized that rather than the peripheral circulatory melatonin circadian rhythm serving as the light/dark signal, it is the melatonin rhythm in CSF of the third ventricle that serves this purpose. This is due to the fact that melatonin circadian rhythm in the CSF is more robust in terms of its extremely high concentration and its precise on/off peaks. Thus, extrapineal-generated melatonin or diet-derived melatonin which enters blood would not interfere with the bio-clock function of vertebrates. In addition, based on the relationship of the pineal gland to the CSF and the vascular structure of this gland, we also hypothesize that pineal gland is an essential player for CSF production. We feel it participates in both the formation and reabsorption of CSF. The mechanisms associated with these processes are reviewed and discussed in this brief review. PMID:26804589

  13. Melatonin modulates intercellular communication among cultured chick astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Peters, Jennifer L; Cassone, Vincent M; Zoran, Mark J

    2005-01-01

    Melatonin, a pineal neurohormone, mediates circadian and seasonal processes in birds and mammals. Diencephalic astrocytes are sites of action, at least in birds, since they express melatonin receptors and melatonin affects their metabolism. We tested whether astrocytic calcium waves are also modulated by melatonin. Calcium waves, which we found to be regulated in cultured chick glial cells by an IP(3)-dependent mechanism, were potentiated by physiological concentrations of melatonin. Melatonin also increased resting calcium levels and reduced gap junctional coupling among astrocytes, at concentrations that facilitated calcium waves. These modulatory effects were diminished by melatonin receptor blockade and pertussis toxin (PTX). Thus, melatonin induced a functional shift in the mode of intercellular communication, between junctional coupling and calcium waves, among glial cells. We suggest a mechanism where neuroglial physiology, involving GTP-binding protein signaling pathways, links rhythmic circadian outputs to pervasive neurobehavioral states. PMID:15621008

  14. Ultradian oscillation in expression of four melatonin receptor subtype genes in the pineal gland of the grass puffer, a semilunar-synchronized spawner, under constant darkness

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Taro; Maruyama, Yusuke; Doi, Hiroyuki; Hattori, Atsuhiko; Ando, Hironori

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin receptor gene expression as well as melatonin synthesis and secretion activities were examined in the pineal gland of the grass puffer, which exhibits unique lunar/tidal cycle-synchronized mass spawing: spawning occurs before high tide on the day of spring tide during spawing season. Melatonin synthesizing activity was assessed by the abundance of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase 2 (AANAT2) mRNA. The amount of aanat2 mRNA was low during light phase and initiated to increase after the light was turned off. The secretion of melatonin from primary pineal organ culture was stimulated after the light was turned off and ceased immediately after the light was turned on. The expression levels of four melatonin receptor subtype genes (mel1a1.4, mel1a1.7, mel1b, and mel1c) showed synchronous variations, and the levels tended to be high during the dark phase under light/dark conditions. These results suggest that the action of melatonin on the pineal gland is highly dependent on light and photoperiod, possibly with stronger action during night time. Under constant darkness, the expression of four melatonin receptor subtype genes showed unique ultradian oscillations with the period of 14.0–15.4 h, suggesting the presence of a circatidal oscillator in the pineal gland. The present results indicate that melatonin may serve local chronobiological functions in the pineal gland. These cyclic expressions of melatonin receptor genes in the pineal gland may be important in the control of the lunar/tidal cycle-synchronized mass spawning in the grass puffer. PMID:25688184

  15. Alpha-2 adrenergic activity of bromocriptine and quinpirole in chicken pineal gland. Effects on melatonin synthesis and ( sup 3 H)rauwolscine binding

    SciTech Connect

    Zawilska, J.; Iuvone, P.M. )

    1990-12-01

    In the pineal gland and retina of chickens, serotonin N-acetyl-transferase (NAT) activity and melatonin content are modulated by different receptors, alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in pineal gland and D2-dopamine receptors in retina. The effect of two D2-dopamine receptor agonists, bromocriptine and quinpirole (LY 171555), on melatonin synthesis in these tissues was investigated. Systemic administrations of bromocriptine and quinpirole decreased nocturnal NAT activity and melatonin content of both pineal gland and retina. Bromocriptine was equipotent in the two tissues, whereas quinpirole was approximately 100-fold more potent in retina than in pineal gland. In pineal gland, the suppressive effects of bromocriptine and quinpirole on NAT activity were blocked by yohimbine, a selective alpha-2 adrenergic receptor antagonist, but not by spiperone, a D2-dopamine receptor antagonist. In contrast, bromocriptine- and quinpirole-induced decreases of the enzyme activity in retina were antagonized by spiperone, and not affected by yohimbine. The nocturnal increase of NAT activity of pineal glands in vitro was inhibited with an order of potency clonidine greater than bromocriptine greater than quinpirole. Additionally, bromocriptine and quinpirole displaced the specific binding of (3H)rauwolscine, an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor antagonist, to membranes from chicken pineal gland, with potencies comparable to those observed for inhibition of NAT activity in vitro. It is suggested that bromocriptine and quinpirole, in addition to their D2-dopaminergic activity, can stimulate alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in pineal gland of chicken.

  16. Ontogeny of melatonin, Per2 and E4bp4 light responsiveness in the chicken embryonic pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Herichová, I; Monosíková, J; Zeman, M

    2008-01-01

    The chicken pineal gland possesses the capacity to generate circadian oscillations, is able to synchronize to external light:dark cycles and can generate an hormonal output--melatonin. We examined the light responses of the chicken pineal gland and its effects on melatonin and Per2, Bmal1 and E4bp4 expression in 19-day old embryos and hatchlings during the dark phase, subjective light phase and in constant darkness. Expression of Per2 and E4bp4 were rhythmic under light:dark conditions, but the rhythms of E4bp4 and Bmal1 mRNA did not persist in constant darkness in 19-day old embryos. Per2 mRNA expression persisted in constant darkness, but with a reduced amplitude. Per2 expression was inducible by light only during the subjective day. Melatonin release was inhibited by light only at end of the dark phase and during the subjective light phase in embryos. Our data demonstrate that the embryonic avian pineal pacemaker is light sensitive and can generate rhythmic output, however the effects of light were diminished in chick embryos in compared to hatchlings. PMID:17996471

  17. Effect of constant temperatures, darkness and light on the secretion of melatonin by pineal explants and retinas in the gecko Christinus marmoratus.

    PubMed

    Moyer, R W; Firth, B T; Kennaway, D J

    1995-03-27

    The effects of temperature and lighting conditions on the secretion of melatonin by the pineal organ of the nocturnal gecko Christinus marmoratus was studied using in vitro perifusion. In a 12L:12D lighting regime, a high-amplitude melatonin rhythm was detectable at a constant temperature of 20 and 30 degrees C but not at 10 or 37 degrees C. There were sustained high levels of melatonin in constant darkness and sustained low levels in constant light. No retinal melatonin was detected using static and perifusion culture techniques. These results show that the pineal organ of C. marmoratus maintains light sensitivity in vitro but does not contain an oscillator coupled to the melatonin synthetic pathway. PMID:7796151

  18. Melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Pévet, Paul

    2002-01-01

    Melatonin (MEL) is a hormone synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland deep within the brain in response to photoperiodic cues relayed from the retina via an endogenous circadian oscillator within the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus. The circadian rhythm of melatonin production and release, characterized by nocturnal activity and daytime quiescence, is an important temporal signal to the body structures that can read it. Melatonin acts through high-affinity receptors located centrally and in numerous peripheral organs. Different receptor subtypes have been cloned and characterized: MT1 and MT2 (transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors), and MT3. However, their physiological role remains unelucidated, although livestock management applications already include the control of seasonal breeding and milk production. As for potential therapeutic applications, exogenous melatonin or a melatonin agonist and selective 5-hydroxytrypiamine receptor (5-HT2c) antagonist, eg, S 20098, can be used to manipulate circadian processes such as the sleep-vake cycle, which are frequently disrupted in many conditions, most notably seasonal affective disorder. PMID:22034091

  19. Melatonin and Ischemic Stroke: Mechanistic Roles and Action

    PubMed Central

    Andrabi, Syed Suhail; Parvez, Suhel; Tabassum, Heena

    2015-01-01

    Stroke is one of the most devastating neurological disabilities and brain's vulnerability towards it proves to be fatal and socio-economic loss of millions of people worldwide. Ischemic stroke remains at the center stage of it, because of its prevalence amongst the several other types attacking the brain. The various cascades of events that have been associated with stroke involve oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, upregulation of Ca2+ level, and so forth. Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by pineal and extra pineal tissues responsible for various physiological processes like sleep and mood behaviour. Melatonin has been implicated in various neurological diseases because of its antioxidative, antiapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. We have previously reviewed the neuroprotective effect of melatonin in various models of brain injury like traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. In this review, we have put together the various causes and consequence of stroke and protective role of melatonin in ischemic stroke. PMID:26435711

  20. Photic and circadian regulation of retinal melatonin in mammals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tosini, G.; Fukuhara, C.

    2003-01-01

    Several studies have established that melatonin synthesis occurs in the retina of vertebrates, including mammals. In mammals, a subpopulation of photoreceptors (probably the cones) synthesize melatonin. Melatonin synthesis in the retina is elevated at night and reduced during the day in a fashion similar to events in the pineal gland. Both the MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors are present in the retina and retinal melatonin does not contribute to circulating levels, suggesting that retinal melatonin acts locally as a neurohormone and/or neuromodulator. Melatonin synthesis in the retina of mammals is under the control of a circadian oscillator, and circadian rhythms in melatonin synthesis and/or release have been described for several species of mammals. These rhythms are present in vivo, persist in vitro, are entrained by light and are temperature compensated. The cloning of the gene responsible for the synthesis of the enzyme arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (the key enzyme in the melatonin biosynthetic pathway) has allowed studies of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the generation of retinal melatonin rhythmicity. The present review focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate melatonin synthesis. In particular, we discuss how the photic environment and the circadian clock interact in determining melatonin levels, in addition to the role that melatonin plays in retinal physiology.

  1. Synchronization by low-amplitude light-dark cycles of 24-hour pineal and plasma melatonin rhythms of hatchling European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Gwinner, E; Zeman, M; Klaassen, M

    1997-11-01

    In young European starlings, as in other avian species, high-amplitude 24-hr rhythms in plasma and pineal melatonin are already present around the time of hatching. In chickens this rhythmicity results at least partly from the light sensitivity of the melatonin-producing and -secreting system. In contrast to the chicken, the starling is a hole-nesting bird, and it seemed questionable whether the low light intensities in the nest are sufficient to synchronize perinatal melatonin rhythms. We therefore exposed starling eggs to light cycles roughly simulating those measured in nest-boxes, i.e., an 11-hr phase of complete darkness and a 13-hr phase consisting of 15 min of dim light (10 lux) alternating with 30 min of darkness. For one group the photophase lasted from 0600 to 1900 hr; for the other group the photophase lasted from 1800 to 0700 hr. In approximately 10-hr-old hatchlings of both groups, plasma and pineal melatonin concentrations were high during the dark phase and low during the light phase. We conclude that perinatal low-amplitude light intensity changes of the kind experienced by hatching starlings in the field are sufficient for synchronizing the melatonin-producing and -secreting system in the pineal and possibly other organs. PMID:9462849

  2. Melatonin Attenuates Methamphetamine-Induced Neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Wongprayoon, Pawaris; Govitrapong, Piyarat

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH), an illegal psycho-stimulant, is widely known as a recreational drug. In addition to its addictive effect, METH induces neurotoxicity via multiple mechanisms. The major contributors to METH-induced neurotoxicity are reactive oxygen species, which lead to cell death through apoptotic pathway and disturbances in mitochondria, the generation of neuroinflammation, and autophagy. Melatonin, a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland, is a potent antioxidant compound that plays a beneficial role by protecting against the oxidative stress caused by METH. Melatonin also plays a role in maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis. Nanomolar concentrations of melatonin have been shown to protect against the inflammation caused by METH and to prevent the decrease in neurogenesis caused by METH in progenitor cells obtained from adult rat hippocampal tissue. The intent of this review is to describe the underlying mechanisms involving melatonin that protect against the neurodegeneration caused by METH. PMID:25248807

  3. Light-Emitting Diodes and Cool White Fluorescent Light Similarly Suppress Pineal Gland Melatonin and Maintain Retinal Function and Morphology in the Rat. Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holley, Daniel C.; Heeke, D.; Mele, G.

    1999-01-01

    Currently, the light sources most commonly used in animal habitat lighting are cool white fluorescent or incandescent lamps. We evaluated a novel light-emitting diode (LED) light source for use in animal habitat lighting by comparing its effectiveness to cool white fluorescent light (CWF) in suppressing pineal gland melatonin and maintaining normal retinal physiology and morphology in the rat. Results of pineal melatonin suppression experiments showed equal suppression of pineal melatonin concentrations for LED light and CWF light at five different light illuminances (100, 40, 10, 1 and 0.1 lux). There were no significant differences in melatonin suppression between LED and CWF light when compared to unexposed controls. Retinal physiology was evaluated using electroretinography. Results show no differences in a-wave implicit times and amplitudes or b-wave implicit times and amplitudes between 100-lux LED-exposed rats and 100-lux CWF-exposed rats. Results of retinal histology assessment show no differences in retinal thickness rod outer segment length and number of rod nuclei between rats exposed to 100-lux LED and 100-lux CWF for days. Furthermore, the retinal pigmented epithelium and rod outer segments of all eyes observed were in good condition and of normal thickness. This study indicates that LED light does not cause retinal damage and can suppress pineal melatonin at similar intensities as a conventional CWF light source. These data suggest that LED light sources may be suitable replacements for conventional light sources used in the lighting of rodent vivariums while providing many mechanical and economical advantages.

  4. Diurnal profiles of melatonin synthesis-related indoles, catecholamines and their metabolites in the duck pineal organ.

    PubMed

    Lewczuk, Bogdan; Ziółkowska, Natalia; Prusik, Magdalena; Przybylska-Gornowicz, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    This study characterizes the diurnal profiles of ten melatonin synthesis-related indoles, the quantitative relations between these compounds, and daily variations in the contents of catecholamines and their metabolites in the domestic duck pineal organ. Fourteen-week-old birds, which were reared under a 12L:12D cycle, were killed at two-hour intervals. The indole contents were measured using HPLC with fluorescence detection, whereas the levels of catecholamines and their metabolites were measured using HPLC with electrochemical detection. All indole contents, except for tryptophan, showed significant diurnal variations. The 5-hydroxytryptophan level was approximately two-fold higher during the scotophase than during the photophase. The serotonin content increased during the first half of the photophase, remained elevated for approximately 10 h and then rapidly decreased in the middle of the scotophase. N-acetylserotonin showed the most prominent changes, with a more than 15-fold increase at night. The melatonin cycle demonstrated only an approximately 5-fold difference between the peak and nadir. The 5-methoxytryptamine content was markedly elevated during the scotophase. The 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid, 5-hydroxytryptophol, 5-methoxyindole acetic acid and 5-methoxytryptophol profiles were analogous to the serotonin rhythm. The norepinephrine and dopamine contents showed no significant changes. The DOPA, DOPAC and homovanillic acid levels were higher during the scotophase than during the photophase. Vanillylmandelic acid showed the opposite rhythm, with an elevated level during the daytime. PMID:25032843

  5. Diurnal Profiles of Melatonin Synthesis-Related Indoles, Catecholamines and Their Metabolites in the Duck Pineal Organ

    PubMed Central

    Lewczuk, Bogdan; Ziółkowska, Natalia; Prusik, Magdalena; Przybylska-Gornowicz, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    This study characterizes the diurnal profiles of ten melatonin synthesis-related indoles, the quantitative relations between these compounds, and daily variations in the contents of catecholamines and their metabolites in the domestic duck pineal organ. Fourteen-week-old birds, which were reared under a 12L:12D cycle, were killed at two-hour intervals. The indole contents were measured using HPLC with fluorescence detection, whereas the levels of catecholamines and their metabolites were measured using HPLC with electrochemical detection. All indole contents, except for tryptophan, showed significant diurnal variations. The 5-hydroxytryptophan level was approximately two-fold higher during the scotophase than during the photophase. The serotonin content increased during the first half of the photophase, remained elevated for approximately 10 h and then rapidly decreased in the middle of the scotophase. N-acetylserotonin showed the most prominent changes, with a more than 15-fold increase at night. The melatonin cycle demonstrated only an approximately 5-fold difference between the peak and nadir. The 5-methoxytryptamine content was markedly elevated during the scotophase. The 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid, 5-hydroxytryptophol, 5-methoxyindole acetic acid and 5-methoxytryptophol profiles were analogous to the serotonin rhythm. The norepinephrine and dopamine contents showed no significant changes. The DOPA, DOPAC and homovanillic acid levels were higher during the scotophase than during the photophase. Vanillylmandelic acid showed the opposite rhythm, with an elevated level during the daytime. PMID:25032843

  6. Melatonin and Melatonin Agonists as Adjunctive Treatments in Bipolar Disorders.

    PubMed

    Geoffroy, Pierre Alexis; Etain, Bruno; Franchi, Jean-Arthur Micoulaud; Bellivier, Frank; Ritter, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    Bipolar disorders (BD) present with abnormalities of circadian rhythmicity and sleep homeostasis, even during phases of remission. These abnormalities are linked to the underlying neurobiology of genetic susceptibility to BD. Melatonin is a pineal gland secreted neurohormone that induces circadian-related and sleep-related responses. Exogenous melatonin has demonstrated efficacy in treating primary insomnia, delayed sleep phase disorder, improving sleep parameters and overall sleep quality, and some psychiatric disorders like autistic spectrum disorders. In order to evaluate the efficacy of melatonin among patients with BD, this comprehensive review emphasizes the abnormal melatonin function in BD, the rationale of melatonin action in BD, the available data about the exogenous administration of melatonin, and melatonin agonists (ramelteon and tasimelteon), and recommendations of use in patients with BD. There is a scientific rationale to propose melatonin-agonists as an adjunctive treatment of mood stabilizers in treating sleep disorders in BD and thus to possibly prevent relapses when administered during remission phases. We emphasized the need to treat insomnia, sleep delayed latencies and sleep abnormalities in BD that are prodromal markers of an emerging mood episode and possible targets to prevent future relapses. An additional interesting adjunctive therapeutic effect might be on preventing metabolic syndrome, particularly in patients treated with antipsychotics. Finally, melatonin is well tolerated and has little dependence potential in contrast to most available sleep medications. Further studies are expected to be able to produce stronger evidence-based therapeutic guidelines to confirm and delineate the routine use of melatonin-agonists in the treatment of BD. PMID:26088111

  7. Near-ultraviolet light perceived by the retina generates the signal suppressing melatonin synthesis in the chick pineal gland-an involvement of NMDA glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Rosiak, Jolanta; Zawilska, Jolanta B

    2005-05-13

    Exposure of dark-adapted chicks to near ultraviolet (UV-A) light significantly decreased melatonin (MEL) content and the activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT; the penultimate and key regulatory enzyme in MEL production) in the pineal glands. Significant reduction in MEL level and AA-NAT activity was also found in pineals of animals whose heads were covered with black opaque tape, an observation suggesting that in the chicken UV-A light perceived by the eyes alone is capable of affecting MEL synthesis in the pineal gland. Covering the chick's eyes, in addition to the head, totally blocked the studied UV-A action. Although SCH 23390 (a selective D1-dopamine receptor antagonist), injected directly into both eyes at a dose of 10 nmol/eye, prevented the decline in pineal AA-NAT activity produced by retinal illumination with white light, the drug did not modify the UV-A light-evoked decrease in the enzyme activity. MK-801 (a selective antagonist of NMDA glutamate receptors; 1 nmol/eye) abolished the suppressive action of UV-A light on pineal AA-NAT activity, but it was inactive in the case of white light. Intraocularly injected sulpiride and CNQX (selective antagonists of D2-dopamine and AMPA/kainite glutamate receptors, respectively) had no effect on the actions of both UV-A and white light (acting on the eyes only) on pineal AA-NAT activity. It is concluded that in the chick retinally perceived UV-A light generates a signal which suppresses MEL production in the pineal gland. At the level of the retina, such signal does not involve dopamine, but is dependent on the stimulation of NMDA glutamate receptors. PMID:15843066

  8. Influence of moonlight on mRNA expression patterns of melatonin receptor subtypes in the pineal organ of a tropical fish.

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Ju; Park, Ji-Gweon; Takeuchi, Yuki; Hur, Sung-Pyo; Lee, Young-Don; Kim, Se-Jae; Takemura, Akihiro

    2014-04-01

    The goldlined spinefoot, Siganus guttatus, is a lunar-synchronized spawner, which repeatedly releases gametes around the first quarter moon during the reproductive season. A previous study reported that manipulating moonlight brightness at night disrupted synchronized spawning, suggesting involvement of this natural light source in lunar synchronization. The present study examined whether the mRNA expression pattern of melatonin receptor subtypes MT1 and Mel1c in the pineal organ of the goldlined spinefoot is related to moonlight. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the abundance of MT1 and Mel1c mRNA at midnight increased during the new moon phase and decreased during the full moon phase. Exposing fish to moonlight intensity during the full moon period resulted in a decrease in Mel1c mRNA abundance within 1h. Fluctuations in the melatonin receptor genes according to changes in the moon phase agreed with those of melatonin levels in the blood. These results indicate that periodic changes in cues from the moon influence melatonin receptor mRNA expression levels. The melatonin-melatonin receptor system may play a role in predicting the moon phase through changes in night brightness. PMID:24269345

  9. Pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein mediates the alpha 2-adrenergic receptor inhibition of melatonin release in photoreceptive chick pineal cell cultures

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, B.L.; Takahashi, J.S.

    1988-07-01

    The avian pineal gland is a photoreceptive organ that has been shown to contain postjunctional alpha 2-adrenoceptors that inhibit melatonin synthesis and/or release upon receptor activation. Physiological response and (32P)ADP ribosylation experiments were performed to investigate whether pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins) were involved in the transduction of the alpha 2-adrenergic signal. For physiological response studies, the effects of pertussis toxin on melatonin release in dissociated cell cultures exposed to norepinephrine were assessed. Pertussis toxin blocked alpha 2-adrenergic receptor-mediated inhibition in a dose-dependent manner. Pertussis toxin-induced blockade appeared to be noncompetitive. One and 10 ng/ml doses of pertussis toxin partially blocked and a 100 ng/ml dose completely blocked norepinephrine-induced inhibition. Pertussis toxin-catalyzed (32P)ADP ribosylation of G-proteins in chick pineal cell membranes was assessed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. Membranes were prepared from cells that had been pretreated with 0, 1, 10, or 100 ng/ml pertussis toxin. In the absence of pertussis toxin pretreatment, two major proteins of 40K and 41K mol wt (Mr) were labeled by (32P)NAD. Pertussis toxin pretreatment of pineal cells abolished (32P) radiolabeling of the 40K Mr G-protein in a dose-dependent manner. The norepinephrine-induced inhibition of both cAMP efflux and melatonin release, as assessed by RIA of medium samples collected before membrane preparation, was also blocked in a dose-dependent manner by pertussis toxin. Collectively, these results suggest that a pertussis toxin-sensitive 40K Mr G-protein labeled by (32P)NAD may be functionally associated with alpha 2-adrenergic signal transduction in chick pineal cells.

  10. Maternal coordination of the daily rhythm of malate dehydrogenase activity in testes from young rats: effect of maternal sympathetic denervation of the pineal gland and administration of melatonin.

    PubMed

    Vermouth, N T; Carriazo, C S; Gallará, R V; Carpentieri, A R; Bellavía, S L

    1995-02-01

    Chronic sympathetic denervation of the pineal gland by bilateral removal of the superior cervical ganglia (SCG) was performed on female rats 30 days before impregnation. The offspring, maintained in the dark from birth, had disruption of the malate dehydrogenase circadian rhythm in the testes at 25 days of age. A daily injection of melatonin (1 mg/kg s.c. at 10:00 or 18:00 h) to denervated mothers from the 14th day of pregnancy up to the 10th day postpartum produced one daily phase in the enzyme activity of tests in the offspring. Entrainment of daily enzyme activity also was obtained when the hormone was administered orally to the pups during the postnatal period or when pups were reared by intact (not denervated) foster mothers. The results indicate the involvement of the maternal pineal gland in the maternal transfer of photoperiodic information necessary for the coordination of the circadian system in young rats. PMID:7750160

  11. Nonpineal melatonin in the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Roth, J J; Gern, W A; Roth, E C; Ralph, C L; Jacobson, E

    1980-10-31

    All living and most fossil representatives of the reptilian subclass Archosauria lack pineal bodies. Arrhythmic, low-level, nonpineal melatonin is present, however, in the blood of Alligator mississippiensis. Although pineal bodies have been implicated in circadian phenomena, these results suggest that arrhytmic melatonin in alligators may not be involved incircadian events and indicate that the pineal is not the only source of the hormone melatonin. The evolutionary loss of the pineal in Archosauria occurred during the Mesozoic, and era noted for its seasonal stability. Arrhythmic melatonin titers inalligators and pineal loss in alligators and other archosaurs may be related to Mesozoic seasonal stability. PMID:7423204

  12. Melatonin prevents neural tube defects in the offspring of diabetic pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shangming; Guo, Yuji; Yuan, Qiuhuan; Pan, Yan; Wang, Liyan; Liu, Qian; Wang, Fuwu; Wang, Jingjing; Hao, Aijun

    2015-11-01

    Melatonin, an endogenous neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland, has a variety of physiological functions and neuroprotective effects. However, its protective role on the neural tube defects (NTDs) was not very clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin on the incidence of NTDs (including anencephaly, encephalocele, and spina bifida) of offspring from diabetic pregnant mice as well as its underlying mechanisms. Pregnant mice were given 10 mg/kg melatonin by daily i.p. injection from embryonic day (E) 0.5 until being killed on E11.5. Here, we showed that melatonin decreased the NTDs (especially exencephaly) rate of embryos exposed to maternal diabetes. Melatonin stimulated proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) under hyperglycemic condition through the extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK) pathway. Furthermore, as a direct free radical scavenger, melatonin decreased apoptosis of NSCs exposed to hyperglycemia. In the light of these findings, it suggests that melatonin supplementation may play an important role in the prevention of neural malformations in diabetic pregnancy. PMID:26475080

  13. Controlled release of the pineal hormone melatonin from hydroxypropylmethylcellulose/sodium alginate matrices in aqueous media containing dioctyl sulfosuccinate.

    PubMed

    Vlachou, Marilena; Tsiakoulia, Athanasia; Eikosipentaki, Aphrodite

    2007-06-01

    An investigation of the controlled release profile of mono-layered formulations of the hormone melatonin in modified aqueous media is described. The tablets used were comprised of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC K15M) and sodium alginate with melatonin (fully soluble in the dioctyl sulfosuccinate (DSS) containing simulated intestinal solution). Three different sets of tablets (diameters 7.5, 10.0 and 13.0 mm) were tested with respect to the influence of their sizes on the hormone's release; the general trend observed was that tablets with larger surface area values had lower % release. A decrease in the value of W(o), obtained from the ratio [H(2)O]/[DSS], results to the predominance of DSS conformers in the aqueous media, which are less likely to solubilize melatonin effectively. PMID:17630926

  14. [MRI of the pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Langevad, Line; Madsen, Camilla Gøbel; Siebner, Hartwig; Garde, Ellen

    2014-11-10

    The pineal gland (CP) is located centrally in the brain and produces melatonin. Cysts and concrements are frequent findings on MRI but their significance is still unclear. The visualization of CP is difficult due to its location and surrounding structures and so far, no standardized method exists. New studies suggest a correlation between CP-morphology and melatonin secretion as well as a connection between melatonin, disturbed circadian rhythm, and the development of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, underlining the need for a standardized approach to CP on MRI. PMID:25394927

  15. The Highly conserved gonadotropin-releasing hormone-2 form acts as a melatonin-releasing factor in the pineal of a teleost fish, the european sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax.

    PubMed

    Servili, Arianna; Lethimonier, Christèle; Lareyre, Jean-Jacques; López-Olmeda, José Fernando; Sánchez-Vázquez, Francisco Javier; Kah, Olivier; Muñoz-Cueto, José Antonio

    2010-05-01

    With the exception of modern mammals, most vertebrate species possess two GnRH genes, GnRH-1 and GnRH-2. In addition, in many teleost fish, there is a third gene called GnRH-3. If the main function of GnRH-1 is unambiguously to stimulate gonadotropin release, the other two GnRH forms still lack clear functions. This is particularly true for the highly conserved GnRH-2 that encodes chicken GnRH-II. This GnRH variant is consistently expressed in neurons of the dorsal synencephalon in most vertebrate groups but still has no clear functions supported by anatomical, pharmacological, and physiological data. In this study performed on a perciform fish, the European sea bass, we show for the first time that the pineal organ receives GnRH-2-immunoreactive fibers originating from the synencephalic GnRH-2 neurons. This was shown through a combination of retrograde tracing and immunohistochemistry, using highly specific antibodies. Supporting the presence of GnRH-2 functional targets, RT-PCR data together with the in situ hybridization studies showed that the sea bass pineal gland strongly expressed a GnRH receptor (dlGnRHR-II-2b) with clear selectivity for GnRH-2 and, to a lesser extent, the dlGnRHR-II-1a subtype. Finally, in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrate stimulatory effects of GnRH-2 on nocturnal melatonin secretion by the sea bass pineal organ. Altogether, these data provide, for the first time in a vertebrate species, converging evidence supporting a role of GnRH-2 in the modulation of fish pineal functions. PMID:20215565

  16. Effect of Melatonin and 5-Methoxycarbonylamino-N-Acetyltryptamine on the Intraocular Pressure of Normal and Glaucomatous Mice.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Águila, Alejandro; Fonseca, Begoña; Pérez de Lara, María J; Pintor, Jesús

    2016-05-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone that is produced not only by the pineal gland but also by several ocular structures. One of the main physiologic roles of melatonin is the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP). Using both control C57BL/6J and glaucomatous DBA/2J mice as well as TonoLab tonometry, this study evaluated the effect of melatonin and 5-methoxycarbonylamino-N-acetyltryptamine (5-MCA-NAT) when glaucomatous pathology was fully established and compared pharmacological behavior in treated mice versus control mice. In addition, 5-MCA-NAT was tested to determine its effects on ameliorating increased IOP in a glaucoma model. The results demonstrate that melatonin and 5-MCA-NAT can reduce IOP in a concentration-dependent manner. The EC50values for melatonin in control and glaucomatous animals were 34µM and 50µM, respectively. Interestingly, melatonin decreased IOP in 19.4% ± 3.7% and 32.6% ± 6.0% of control and glaucomatous mice, respectively, when the animals were studied at age 12 months. 5-MCA-NAT reduced IOP in the same manner and was able to stop IOP progression in glaucomatous mice. Use of melatonin receptor antagonists showed that hypotensive effects were blocked by the MT2receptor antagonists luzindole and 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin in the case of melatonin and by only 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin in the case of 5-MCA-NAT. In conclusion, melatonin and 5-MCA-NAT can effectively reduce IOP in a glaucoma model, and their hypotensive effects are more profound in the glaucoma model than in control animals. PMID:26941171

  17. Mammalian neurohormones: potential significance in reproductive physiology of St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.)?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murch, Susan; Saxena, Praveen

    2002-10-01

    Melatonin and serotonin are indoleamine neurohormones that function as photoperiod signals in many species and have recently been found in St. John's wort, a medicinal plant used in the treatment of depression. There is no known role for melatonin in higher plants but melatonin functions as a signal of changes in photoperiod in other species. In the current study, serotonin and melatonin were quantified during flower development. Higher concentrations of serotonin were found in flower buds at the tetrad stage of microspore development and higher melatonin concentrations were detected during uninucleate mircosporogenesis. Additionally, the regeneration potential of isolated anthers was highest in the same stage that had elevated melatonin concentrations. These data provide the first evidence of the presence of melatonin during flower development and raise many questions about the potential roles of serotonin and melatonin as regulatory molecules in the reproductive flexibility of higher plants.

  18. The effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields on melatonin and cortisol, two marker rhythms of the circadian system

    PubMed Central

    Touitou, Yvan; Selmaoui, Brahim

    2012-01-01

    In the past 30 years the concern that daily exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-EMF) (1 to 300 Hz) might be harmful to human health (cancer, neurobehavioral disturbances, etc) has been the object of debate, and has become a public health concern. This has resulted in the classification of ELF-EMF into category 2B, ie, agents that are “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Since melatonin, a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland, has been shown to possess oncostatic properties, a “melatonin hypothesis” has been raised, stating that exposure to EMF might decrease melatonin production and therefore might promote the development of breast cancer in humans. Data from the literature reviewed here are contradictory. In addition, we have demonstrated a lack of effect of ELF-EMF on melatonin secretion in humans exposed to EMF (up to 20 years' exposure) which rebuts the melatonin hypothesis. Currently, the debate concerns the effects of ELF-EMF on the risk of childhood leukemia in children chronically exposed to more than 0.4 μT. Further research is thus needed to obtain more definite answers regarding the potential deleterious effects of ELF-EMF. PMID:23393415

  19. Melatonin in Chronic Pain Syndromes.

    PubMed

    Danilov, Andrei; Kurganova, Julia

    2016-06-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by epiphysis and extrapineal structures. It performs several functions including chronobiotic, antioxidant, oncostatic, immune modulating, normothermal, and anxiolytic functions. Melatonin affects the cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract, participates in reproduction and metabolism, and body mass regulation. Moreover, recent studies have demonstrated melatonin efficacy in relation to pain syndromes. The present paper reviews the studies on melatonin use in fibromyalgia, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic back pain, and rheumatoid arthritis. The paper discusses the possible mechanisms of melatonin analgesic properties. On one hand, circadian rhythms normalization results in sleep improvement, which is inevitably disordered in chronic pain syndromes, and activation of melatonin adaptive capabilities. On the other hand, there is evidence of melatonin-independent analgesic effect involving melatonin receptors and several neurotransmitter systems. PMID:26984272

  20. Two components of the pineal organ in the mink (Mustela vison): their structural similarity to submammalian pineal complexes and calcification.

    PubMed

    Vigh, B; Vigh-Teichmann, I

    1992-12-01

    The pineal complex in the mink (Mustela vison) consists of a larger ventral and a smaller dorsal pineal. Both organs contain pinealocytes, neurons, glial cells, nerve fibers and synapses in an organization characteristic of nervous tissue. The cellular elements are arranged circularly around strait lumina. These lumina correspond to the photoreceptor spaces of submammalian pineals. A 9 + 0-type cilium marks the receptory pole of the pinealocytes which may form an inner-segment-like dendrite terminal in the pineal lumina. The cilia correspond to outer segments which form photoreceptor membrane multiplications in the pineal of submammalians and in certain insectivorous and mustelid mammals (bat, hedgehog, ferret). Axonal processes of the pinealocytes contain synaptic ribbons and terminate on intrapineal neurons of both organs. This pattern represents a neural efferentation of the pineal nervous tissue. The axonal processes of pinealocytes also form neurohormonal endings which pierce the perivascular limiting glial membrane in the ventral as well as in the dorsal pineal. The upper pineal ("epipineal") of the mink may correspond to the parapineal, frontal, or parietal organs of submammalian pineal complexes. Both pineals are encapsulated by the meningeal tissue of the brain stem. Afferent vasomotor axons of the meninges innervate smooth muscle cells of pineal arterioles. There are corpora arenacea in the pineal arachnoid and in the pineal nervous tissue, primarily in the ventral pineal. The localization of calcium ions detected around the membrane of pineal cells by pyroantimonate cytochemistry suggests membrane activity as the source of the calcium ions. The accumulation of calcium by the pinealocytes may be due to their neurosensory character. The mink is the first animal described to have both intrapineal and meningeal concrements like the human pineal. PMID:1295547

  1. A pilot double-blind randomised placebo-controlled dose–response trial assessing the effects of melatonin on infertility treatment (MIART): study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Shavi; Osianlis, Tiki; Vollenhoven, Beverley; Wallace, Euan; Rombauts, Luk

    2014-01-01

    Introduction High levels of oxidative stress can have considerable impact on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Recent studies have reported that melatonin, a neurohormone secreted from the pineal gland in response to darkness, has significant antioxidative capabilities which may protect against the oxidative stress of infertility treatment on gametes and embryos. Early studies of oral melatonin (3–4 mg/day) in IVF have suggested favourable outcomes. However, most trials were poorly designed and none have addressed the optimum dose of melatonin. We present a proposal for a pilot double-blind randomised placebo-controlled dose–response trial aimed to determine whether oral melatonin supplementation during ovarian stimulation can improve the outcomes of assisted reproductive technology. Methods and analyses We will recruit 160 infertile women into one of four groups: placebo (n=40); melatonin 2 mg twice per day (n=40); melatonin 4 mg twice per day (n=40) and melatonin 8 mg twice per day (n=40). The primary outcome will be clinical pregnancy rate. Secondary clinical outcomes include oocyte number/quality, embryo number/quality and fertilisation rate. We will also measure serum melatonin and the oxidative stress marker, 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine at baseline and after treatment and levels of these in follicular fluid at egg pick-up. We will investigate follicular blood flow with Doppler ultrasound, patient sleepiness scores and pregnancy complications, comparing outcomes between groups. This protocol has been designed in accordance with the SPIRIT 2013 Guidelines. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval has been obtained from Monash Health HREC (Ref: 13402B), Monash University HREC (Ref: CF14/523-2014000181) and Monash Surgical Private Hospital HREC (Ref: 14107). Data analysis, interpretation and conclusions will be presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Trial registration number ACTRN

  2. The pineal gland - Its possible roles in human reproduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brzezinski, Amnon; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1988-01-01

    The paper discusses the role of the pineal gland in controlling mammalian reproduction, with particular attention given to the role of melatonin in polyestrus mammals, like humans and laboratory rodents. Evidence is cited indicating the influence of melatonin production and blood content on the age of puberty, the timing of the ovulatory cycle, gonadal steriodogenesis, and patterns of reproductive behavior. It is suggested that abnormal patterns of melatonin might be associated with amenorrhea, anovulation, unexplained infertility, premature menopause, and habitual abortions.

  3. Melatonin in animal models

    PubMed Central

    Pévet, Paul

    2003-01-01

    Melatonin is a hormone synthesized and secreted during the night by the pineal gland. Its production is mainly driven by the Orcadian clock, which, in mammals, is situated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. The melatonin production and release displays characteristic daily (nocturnal) and seasonal patterns (changes in duration proportional to the length of the night) of secretion. These rhythms in circulating melatonin are strong synchronizers for the expression of numerous physiological processes. In mammals, the role of melatonin in the control of seasonality is well documented, and the sites and mechanisms of action involved are beginning to be identified. The exact role of the hormone in the diurnal (Orcadian) timing system remains to be determined. However, exogenous melatonin has been shown to affect the circadian clock. The molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in this well-characterized “chronobiotic” effect have also begun to be characterized. The circadian clock itself appears to be an important site for the entrapment effect of melatonin and the presence of melatonin receptors appears to be a prerequisite. A better understanding of such “chronobiotic” effects of melatonin will allow clarification of the role of endogenous melatonin in circadian organization. PMID:22033558

  4. A Molecular and Chemical Perspective in Defining Melatonin Receptor Subtype Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Chan, King Hang; Wong, Yung Hou

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin is primarily synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland during darkness in a normal diurnal cycle. In addition to its intrinsic antioxidant property, the neurohormone has renowned regulatory roles in the control of circadian rhythm and exerts its physiological actions primarily by interacting with the G protein-coupled MT1 and MT2 transmembrane receptors. The two melatonin receptor subtypes display identical ligand binding characteristics and mediate a myriad of signaling pathways, including adenylyl cyclase inhibition, phospholipase C stimulation and the regulation of other effector molecules. Both MT1 and MT2 receptors are widely expressed in the central nervous system as well as many peripheral tissues, but each receptor subtype can be linked to specific functional responses at the target tissue. Given the broad therapeutic implications of melatonin receptors in chronobiology, immunomodulation, endocrine regulation, reproductive functions and cancer development, drug discovery and development programs have been directed at identifying chemical molecules that bind to the two melatonin receptor subtypes. However, all of the melatoninergics in the market act on both subtypes of melatonin receptors without significant selectivity. To facilitate the design and development of novel therapeutic agents, it is necessary to understand the intrinsic differences between MT1 and MT2 that determine ligand binding, functional efficacy, and signaling specificity. This review summarizes our current knowledge in differentiating MT1 and MT2 receptors and their signaling capacities. The use of homology modeling in the mapping of the ligand-binding pocket will be described. Identification of conserved and distinct residues will be tremendously useful in the design of highly selective ligands. PMID:24018885

  5. Circadian clock system in the pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Fukada, Yoshitaka; Okano, Toshiyuki

    2002-02-01

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine organ that functions as a central circadian oscillator in a variety of nonmammalian vertebrates. In many cases, the pineal gland retains photic input and endocrinal-output pathways both linked tightly to the oscillator. This contrasts well with the mammalian pineal gland equipped only with the output of melatonin production that is subject to neuronal regulation by central circadian oscillator located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Molecular studies on animal clock genes were performed first in Drosophila and later developed in rodents. More recently, clock genes such as Per, Cry, Clock, and Bmal have been found in a variety of vertebrate clock structures including the avian pineal gland. The profiles of the temporal change of the clock gene expression in the avian pineal gland are more similar to those in the mammalian SCN rather than to those in the mammalian pineal gland. Avian pineal gland and mammalian SCN seem to share a fundamental molecular framework of the clock oscillator composed of a transcription/translation-based autoregulatory feedback loop. The circadian time-keeping mechanism also requires several post-translational events, such as protein translocation and degradation processes, in which protein phosphorylation plays a very important role for the stable 24-h cycling of the oscillator and/or the photic-input pathway for entrainment of the clock. PMID:11890455

  6. Hypothalamic neurohormones and immune responses

    PubMed Central

    Quintanar, J. Luis; Guzmán-Soto, Irene

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive examination of the current literature describing the neural-immune interactions, with emphasis on the most recent findings of the effects of neurohormones on immune system. Particularly, the role of hypothalamic hormones such as Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). In the past few years, interest has been raised in extrapituitary actions of these neurohormones due to their receptors have been found in many non-pituitary tissues. Also, the receptors are present in immune cells, suggesting an autocrine or paracrine role within the immune system. In general, these neurohormones have been reported to exert immunomodulatory effects on cell proliferation, immune mediators release and cell function. The implications of these findings in understanding the network of hypothalamic neuropeptides and immune system are discussed. PMID:23964208

  7. Distinct effects of the serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors milnacipran and venlafaxine on rat pineal monoamines.

    PubMed

    Muneoka, Katsumasa; Kuwagata, Makiko; Ogawa, Tetsuo; Shioda, Seiji

    2015-06-17

    Monoamine systems are involved in the pathology and therapeutic mechanism of depression. The pineal gland contains large amounts of serotonin as a precursor for melatonin, and its activity is controlled by noradrenergic sympathetic nerves. Pineal diurnal activity and its release of melatonin are relevant to aberrant states observed in depression. We investigated the effects on pineal monoamines of serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, which are widely used antidepressants. Four days of milnacipran treatment led to an increase in noradrenaline and serotonin levels, whereas 4 days of venlafaxine treatment reduced 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels; both agents induced an increase in dopamine levels. Our data suggest that milnacipran increases levels of the precursor for melatonin synthesis by facilitating the noradrenergic regulation of pineal activity and that venlafaxine inhibits serotonin reuptake into noradrenergic terminals on the pineal gland. PMID:26016648

  8. [Biological potentiality of melatonin].

    PubMed

    Muñoz Barragán, Luciano

    2002-01-01

    The pineal gland is an epithalamic structure whose mission is to integrate incoming environmental information with other types of information deriving from the inner milieu itself of the organism, releasing melatonin, a substance able to elicit responses in the central nervous and endocrine systems. Secreted rhythmically during the scotophase, melatonin is involved in reproductive mechanisms, in cyclically developing nosological. Processes, and in the genesis or maintenance of cerebral biorhythms. Owing to its ability to uptake free radicals produced by cell metabolism, it is a potent antioxidant agent that is able to delay cellular ageing and inhibit cellular proliferation in both experimental and spontaneous tumours. PMID:12812036

  9. Rhythmic control of endocannabinoids in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Koch, Marco; Ferreirós, Nerea; Geisslinger, Gerd; Dehghani, Faramarz; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids modulate neuroendocrine networks by directly targeting cannabinoid receptors. The time-hormone melatonin synchronizes these networks with external light condition and guarantees time-sensitive and ecologically well-adapted behaviors. Here, the endocannabinoid arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA) showed rhythmic changes in rat pineal glands with higher levels during the light-period and reduced amounts at the onset of darkness. Norepinephrine, the essential stimulus for nocturnal melatonin biosynthesis, acutely down-regulated AEA and other endocannabinoids in cultured pineal glands. These temporal dynamics suggest that AEA exerts time-dependent autocrine and/or paracrine functions within the pineal. Moreover, endocananbinoids may be released from the pineal into the CSF or blood stream. PMID:26061461

  10. The pineal gland and the clinical course of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R

    1992-01-01

    Clinical, epidemiological, biochemical, immunological, and radiological studies suggest that the pineal gland may be implicated in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS). The following communication is concerned with the association among MS, pregnancy, the postpartum period, and melatonin secretion and illustrates, based on a clinical case report, the influence of the pineal gland on the clinical course of MS. This association is noteworthy since MS may worsen during the postpartum period and melatonin secretion is reported to be altered most dramatically by pregnancy and delivery. Since melatonin secretion is cyclical, undergoing diurnal, weekly, seasonal, and annual variations, it is proposed that the pineal gland may be the "prime mover" underlying the spontaneous exacerbations and remissions in MS. PMID:1342015

  11. Gut Melatonin in Vertebrates: Chronobiology and Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Sourav; Maitra, Saumen Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin, following discovery in the bovine pineal gland, has been detected in several extra-pineal sources including gastrointestinal tract or gut. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) is the key regulator of its biosynthesis. Melatonin in pineal is rhythmically produced with a nocturnal peak in synchronization with environmental light–dark cycle. A recent study on carp reported first that melatonin levels and intensity of a ~23 kDa AANAT protein in each gut segment also exhibit significant daily variations but, unlike pineal, show a peak at midday in all seasons. Extensive experimental studies ruled out direct role of light–dark conditions in determining temporal pattern of gut melatoninergic system in carp, and opened up possible role of environmental non-photic cue(s) as its synchronizer. Based on mammalian findings, physiological significance of gut-derived melatonin also appears unique because its actions at local levels sharing paracrine and/or autocrine functions have been emphasized. The purpose of this mini review is to summarize the existing data on the chronobiology and physiology of gut melatonin and to emphasize their relation with the same hormone derived in the pineal in vertebrates including fish. PMID:26257705

  12. Effects of 60-Hz electric fields on serotonin metabolism in the rat pineal gland

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, L.E.; Hilton, D.I.; Phillips, R.D.; Wilson, B.W.; Chess, E.K.

    1982-06-01

    Serotonin and two of its metabolites, melatonin and 5-methoxytryptophol, exhibit circadian rhythmicity in the pineal gland. We recently reported a marked reduction in the normal night-time increase in melatonin concentration in the pineal glands of rats exposed to 60-Hz electric fields. Concomitant with the apparent abolition of melatonin rhythmicity, serotonin-N-acetyl transferase (SNAT) activity was suppressed. We have now conducted studies to determine if abolition of the rhythm in melatonin production in electric-field-exposed rats arises solely from interference in SNAT activity, or if the availability of pineal serotonin is a factor that is affected by exposure. Pineal serotonin concentrations were compared in rats that were either exposed or sham exposed to 65 kV/m for 30 days. Sham-exposed animals exhibited normal diurnal rhythmicity for pineal concentrations of both melatonin and serotonin; melatonin levels increased markedly during the dark phase with a concurrent decrease in serotonin levels. In the exposed animals, however, normal serotonin rhythmicity was abolished; serotonin levels in these animals did not increase during the light period. The conclusion that electric field exposure results in a biochemical alteration in SNAT enzyme activity can be inferred from the loss of both serotonin and melatonin rhythmicity, as well as by direct measurement of SNAT activity itself. 35 references, 3 figures, 1 table.

  13. Is postmenopausal osteoporosis related to pineal gland functions?

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Anastasiadis, P G; Anninos, P A; Tsagas, N

    1992-02-01

    There is currently considerable interest in the pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis, which is the most common metabolic bone disease. Osteoporosis affects approximately 20 million persons in the United States, 90% of whom are postmenopausal women. Although there is evidence that estrogen deficiency is an important contributory factor, the pathogenesis of osteoporosis is multifactorial and presently poorly understood. There is evidence that pineal melatonin is an anti-aging hormone and that the menopause is associated with a substantial decline in melatonin secretion and an increased rate of pineal calcification. Animal data indicate that pineal melatonin is involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus metabolism by stimulating the activity of the parathyroid glands and by inhibiting calcitonin release and inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis. Hence, the pineal gland may function as a "fine tuner" of calcium homeostasis. In the following communication, we propose that the fall of melatonin plasma levels during the early stage of menopause may be an important contributory factor in the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Consequently, plasma melatonin levels taken in the early menopause could be used as an indicator or perhaps as a marker for susceptibility to postmenopausal osteoporosis. Moreover, light therapy, administration of oral melatonin (2.5 mg at night) or agents which induce a sustained release of melatonin secretion such as 5-methoxypsoralen, could be useful agents in the prophylaxis and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Finally, since application of external artificial magnetic fields has been shown to synchronize melatonin secretion in experimental animals and humans, we propose that treatment with artificial magnetic fields may be beneficial for postmenopausal osteoporosis. PMID:1305608

  14. Neuroendocrine, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural study of pineal region tumors.

    PubMed

    Grimoldi, N; Tomei, G; Stankov, B; Lucini, V; Masini, B; Caputo, V; Repetti, M L; Lazzarini, G; Gaini, S M; Lucarini, C; Fraschini, F; Villani, R

    1998-10-01

    Thirteen patients with tumors in the pineal region were submitted to pre- and post-operative blood sampling (08:00, 14:00, 20:00, and 02:00 hr) for three or four consecutive days. A single cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample was collected at surgery, and melatonin levels determined. In all patients, serum and CSF beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotrophin (betaHCG), carcino embryonic antigen (CEA), and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels were measured. Histology revealed four pineocytomas, one pineoblastoma, four germinomas, one immature teratoma, one pilocytic astrocytoma, one lymphoma, and one meningioma. Serum and CSF levels of serological biomarkers were normal, except for one of the germinoma cases. In most patients, alteration either in the circadian rhythm or in the melatonin concentration was observed before surgery. In benign neoplasms the circadian rhythm was conserved. In pineoblastoma, lymphoma, and three out of four germinomas, melatonin concentrations were undetectable. In one case of germinoma, melatonin levels were high, with the circadian rhythm being abolished. According to conventional histology, all germinomas were similar. Therefore, in a rare case of pineal germinoma with high melatonin levels, the tissue was subjected to an in depth investigation (immunohistochemical and ultrastructural) in order to determine the pathology and the possible differences from the other typical germinomas. Results were compared to those provided from other pineal neoplasms. Electron microscopy examination detected the presence of clusters of intermediate filaments and numerous electrondense granules only in the case of a germinoma producing melatonin. PMID:9745983

  15. Pharmacokinetics of melatonin in human sexual maturation.

    PubMed

    Cavallo, A; Ritschel, W A

    1996-05-01

    To determine whether melatonin pharmacokinetics change during puberty, we infused melatonin iv in 9 prepubertal, 8 pubertal, and 16 adult subjects and measured melatonin in serum and saliva, and 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate in urine. A pilot study of 3 adult males showed dose linearity, absence of saturation kinetics, and unaltered metabolism and urinary excretion for doses of 0.1, 0.5, and 5.0 micrograms/kg. All other subjects received 0.5 microgram/kg melatonin. The results of pharmacokinetic parameters calculated from serum melatonin showed no significant gender differences in adults. However, developmental differences were significant between prepubertal children and adults for terminal elimination rate constant (1.08 +/- 0.25 vs. 0.89 +/- 0.11 h-1), elimination half-life (0.67 +/- 0.12 vs. 0.79 +/- 0.10 h), and area under the concentration-time curve (250.9 +/- 91.8 vs. 376.9 +/- 154.3 (pg/mL).h, respectively). At all time points melatonin levels were higher in serum than in saliva, and the ratio between serum and salivary melatonin varied up to 55-fold within and between individuals. Results based on salivary melatonin showed significant differences between prepubertal children and adults for the terminal elimination rate constant (1.90 +/- 0.95 vs. 1.06 +/- 0.28 h-1). The described group differences in pharmacokinetic parameters suggest that prepubertal children metabolize melatonin faster than adults. The inconsistent ratio between serum and salivary melatonin calls for caution in the use of salivary melatonin for pharmacokinetic studies or to infer pineal function. The present findings, suggestive of faster melatonin metabolism in prepubertal children, combined with the known decline of serum melatonin with age and higher excretion rate of the metabolite in prepubertal children lead us to conclude that the prepubertal pineal gland has a higher melatonin secretion rate than the adult gland. PMID:8626852

  16. Sympathetic neural control of indoleamine metabolism in the rat pineal gland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, H. J.; Hsuan, M.; Wurtman, R. J.

    1975-01-01

    The mechanisms responsible for the acceleration in rat pineal biosynthetic activity in response to prolonged exposure to darkness or to immobilization were investigated in animals whose pineals were surgically denervated. Some animals were adrenalectomized to remove one potential source of circulating catecholamines, and some were subjected to a partial chemical sympathectomy accomplished by a series of intravenous injections of 6-hydroxydopamine. Results suggest that N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity can be enhanced either by release of norepinephrine from sympathetic terminals within the pineal or from sympathetic nerve terminals elsewhere. The stress of immobilization stimulates the pineal by increasing circulating catecholamines. Photic control of pineal function requires intact pineal sympathetic innervation, since the onset of darkness apparently does not cause a sufficient rise in circulating catecholamines to stimulate the pineal. The present studies suggest that nonspecific stress triggers increased biosynthesis and secretion of melatonin; it is possible that this hormone may participate in mechanisms of adaptation.

  17. Biochemical and hormonal evaluation of pineal glands exposed in vitro to magnetic fields. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, L.E.; Leung, F.C.; Miller, D.L.

    1998-11-01

    It has been reported that exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields can significantly alter pineal melatonin metabolism in vivo. However, whether such changes are due to direct or indirect effects of field exposure has not been clearly demonstrated. The objective of this research project was to examine the effects of magnetic fields on melatonin metabolism in pineal glands in vitro. Chicken pineal glands were cultured in a modified incubator encircled by a magnetic field exposure system. The incubator, that was remote from but attached to a standard laboratory incubator, contained a regulated light source for modulation of the light/dark cycle (12:12 L/D). Pineal glands from 4--6 week old chickens were maintained under 95% O{sub 2}, 5% CO{sub 2} in a static culture system. Because of problems due to contamination and loss of viability of such a system, a perfusion system was developed for EMF studies. Both single and multiple chicken pineal glands were used in the perfusion studies and were kept viable in the perfusion chamber by a continuous flow of medium at 39 C for up to 8 days. Perfusate samples were collected into a fraction collector and were subsequently kept frozen at {minus} 20 C until assays were performed. Melatonin secreted by the cultured pineal glands and released into the medium was measured by a melatonin double antibody radioimmunoassay (RIA) using {sup 125}I-melatonin as the label.

  18. Neuroendocrine mediated effects of electromagnetic-field exposure: Possible role of the pineal gland

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, W.B.; Stevens, R.G.; Anderson, L.E. )

    1989-01-01

    Reports from recent epidemiological studies have suggested a possible association between extremely low frequently (ELF; including 50- or 60-Hz) electric- and magnetic-field exposure, and increased risk of certain cancers, depression, and miscarriage. ELF field-induced pineal gland dysfunction is a possible etiological factor in these effects. Work in our laboratory and elsewhere has shown that ELF electromagnetic-field exposure can alter the normal circadian rhythm of melatonin synthesis and release in the pineal gland. Consequences of reduced or inappropriately timed melatonin release on the endocrine, neuronal, and immune systems are discussed. Laboratory data linking ELF field exposure to changes in pineal circadian rhythms in both animal and humans are reviewed. The authors suggest that the pineal gland, in addition to being a convenient locus for measuring dyschronogenic effects of ELF field exposure, may play a central role in biological response to these fields via alterations in the melatonin signal.

  19. 'Melatonin isomer' in wine is not an isomer of the melatonin but tryptophan-ethylester.

    PubMed

    Gardana, Claudio; Iriti, Marcello; Stuknytė, Milda; De Noni, Ivano; Simonetti, Paolo

    2014-11-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone, chronobiotic, and antioxidant compound found in wine and deriving directly from grapes and/or synthesized by yeast during alcoholic fermentation. In addition, a melatonin isomer has been detected in different foods, wine among them. The special interest for melatonin isomer related to the fact that it was found in greater quantities than melatonin and probably shares some of its biological properties. Despite this, its chemical structure has not yet been defined; although some researchers hypothesize, it could be melatonin with the ethylacetamide group shifted into position N1. Thus, the aim of our study was to identify the structures of the melatonin isomer. For this purpose, melatonin and melatonin isomer in Syrah wine were separated chromatographically by a sub-2 μm particle column and detected by tandem mass spectrometry. The sample was then purified and concentrated by solid-phase extraction, hydrolyzed with alkali or esterase, and substrates and products quantified by UPLC-MS/MS. Moreover, melatonin, melatonin isomer, and their product ions were evaluated by high-resolution mass spectrometry. The amount of melatonin isomer and melatonin in the wine was 84 ± 4 and 3 ± 0 ng/mL, respectively. In the solutions, containing diluted alkali or esterase, melatonin isomer was hydrolyzed in about 8 min. Correspondingly, tryptophan was detected, and its amount increased and reached the maximum concentration in about 8 min. Melatonin concentration was not affected by diluted alkali or esterase. The fragmentation pattern of melatonin isomer was different from that of melatonin but comparable to that of tryptophan-ethylester. Finally, the so-called melatonin isomer identity was verified by cochromatography with authentic standard of tryptophan-ethylester. PMID:25251161

  20. Melatonin, light and chronobiological disorders.

    PubMed

    Lewy, A J; Sack, R L; Singer, C M

    1985-01-01

    Human plasma melatonin concentrations can be measured accurately and sensitively by gas chromatography-negative chemical ionization mass spectrometry. With this assay, we have shown that: in rats and in humans, plasma melatonin is exclusively derived from the pineal gland; propranolol and clonidine reduce melatonin levels in human; some blind people appear to have free-running melatonin secretory circadian rhythms; bright light can acutely suppress human melatonin production according to a linear fluence-response relationship; manic-depressive patients appear to be supersensitive to light, even when they are well; melatonin levels are greater in manic patients than in depressed patients; in experiments to test the clock-gate model and the hypothesized phase-response curve, two different effects of light appear to present in humans: an acute suppressant effect (mainly in the evening during long photoperiods) and an entrainment effect (particularly during the morning but also in the evening). When blood is sampled for measuring melatonin levels as a marker for circadian phase position, bright light should be avoided after 5 p.m. (the dim light melatonin onset). Bright-light exposure in the morning appears to advance circadian rhythms, whereas bright-light exposure in the evening appears to delay them. Once a patient has been 'phase typed' (phase-advanced vs. phase-delayed), predictions can be made about whether morning or evening light would be more effective in treating the sleep or mood disorder. PMID:3836816

  1. Melatonin concentrations in the sudden infant death syndrome

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturner, W. Q.; Lynch, H. J.; Deng, M. H.; Gleason, R. E.; Wurtman, R. J.

    1990-01-01

    The melatonin levels in various body fluids of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) infants are compared with those of infants of comparable age who died of other causes to examine a possible relationship between pineal function and SIDS. After adjusting for age differences, cerebrospinal fluid melatonin levels are found to be significantly lower in the SIDS infants. It is suggested that diminished melatonin production may be characteristic of SIDS and could represent an impairment in the maturation of physiologic circadian organization.

  2. Melatonin in human preovulatory follicular fluid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brzezinski, Amnon; Seibel, Machelle M.; Lynch, Harry J.; Deng, Mei-Hua; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1987-01-01

    Melatonin, the major hormone of the pineal gland, has antigonadotrophic activity in many mammals and may also be involved in human reproduction. Melatonin suppresses steroidogenesis by ovarian granulosa and luteal cells in vitro. To determine if melatonin is present in the human ovary, preovulatory follicular fluids (n = 32) from 15 women were assayed for melatonin by RIA after solvent extraction. The fluids were obtained by laparoscopy or sonographically controlled follicular puncture from infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. All patients had received clomiphene citrate, human menopausal gonadotropin, and hCG to stimulate follicle formation. Blood samples were obtained by venipuncture 30 rain or less after follicular aspiration. All of the follicular fluids contained melatonim, in concentrations substantially higher than those in the corresponding serum. A positive correlation was found between follicular fluid and serum melatonin levels in each woman; these observations indicate that preovulatory follicles contain substantial amounts of melatonin that may affect ovarian steroidogenesis.

  3. Melatonin as an Antioxidant for Stroke Neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Watson, Nate; Diamandis, Theo; Gonzales-Portillo, Chiara; Reyes, Stephanny; Borlongan, Cesar V

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a hormone derived from the pineal gland that has a wide range of clinical applications. While melatonin was originally assessed as a hormone specializing in regulation of the normal circadian rhythm in mammals, it now has been shown to be an effective free radical scavenger and antioxidant. Current research has focused on central nervous system (CNS) disorders, stroke in particular, for potential melatonin-based therapeutics. As of now, the realm of potential therapy regimens is focused on three main treatments: exogenously delivered melatonin, pineal gland grafting, and melatonin-mediated stem cell therapy. All therapies contain both costs and benefits, and current research is still focused on finding the best treatment plan. While comprehensive research has been conducted, more research regarding the safety of such therapies is needed in order to transition into the clinical level of testing. Antioxidants such as traditional Chinese medicine, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and lavender oil, which have been used for thousands of years as treatment, are now gaining recognition as effective melatonin treatment alternatives. This review will further discuss relevant studies assessing melatonin-based therapeutics and provide evidence of other natural melatonin treatment alternatives for the treatment of stroke. PMID:26497887

  4. Imagery of pineal tumors.

    PubMed

    Deiana, G; Mottolese, C; Hermier, M; Louis-Tisserand, G; Berthezene, Y

    2015-01-01

    Pineal tumors are rare and include a large variety of entities. Germ cell tumors are relatively frequent and often secreting lesions. Pineal parenchymal tumors include pineocytomas, pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation, pineoblastomas and papillary tumors of the pineal region. Other lesions including astrocytomas and meningiomas as well as congenital malformations i.e. benign cysts, lipomas, epidermoid and dermoid cysts, which can also arise from the pineal region. Imagery is often non-specific but detailed analysis of the images compared with the hormone profile can narrow the spectrum of possible diagnosis. PMID:25676911

  5. [ASSESSMENT OF EFFICACY OF MELATONIN IN SURGICAL TREATMENT OF COLON TUMORS].

    PubMed

    Pliss, M M; Sedov, V M; Fishman, M B

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin is neurohormone, which is involved in regulation of many functions of an organism, including the digestive system. Therefore the authors offered to include this hormone as a preconditioner factor in surgical treatment of colon tumors using laparotomy and laparoscopy. Preoperative application of melatonin allowed shortening the terms of postoperative period and hospital stay. PMID:26983264

  6. Sleep-wake regulation and hypocretin-melatonin interaction in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Appelbaum, Lior; Wang, Gordon X; Maro, Geraldine S; Mori, Rotem; Tovin, Adi; Marin, Wilfredo; Yokogawa, Tohei; Kawakami, Koichi; Smith, Stephen J; Gothilf, Yoav; Mignot, Emmanuel; Mourrain, Philippe

    2009-12-22

    In mammals, hypocretin/orexin (HCRT) neuropeptides are important sleep-wake regulators and HCRT deficiency causes narcolepsy. In addition to fragmented wakefulness, narcoleptic mammals also display sleep fragmentation, a less understood phenotype recapitulated in the zebrafish HCRT receptor mutant (hcrtr-/-). We therefore used zebrafish to study the potential mediators of HCRT-mediated sleep consolidation. Similar to mammals, zebrafish HCRT neurons express vesicular glutamate transporters indicating conservation of the excitatory phenotype. Visualization of the entire HCRT circuit in zebrafish stably expressing hcrt:EGFP revealed parallels with established mammalian HCRT neuroanatomy, including projections to the pineal gland, where hcrtr mRNA is expressed. As pineal-produced melatonin is a major sleep-inducing hormone in zebrafish, we further studied how the HCRT and melatonin systems interact functionally. mRNA level of arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AANAT2), a key enzyme of melatonin synthesis, is reduced in hcrtr-/- pineal gland during the night. Moreover, HCRT perfusion of cultured zebrafish pineal glands induces melatonin release. Together these data indicate that HCRT can modulate melatonin production at night. Furthermore, hcrtr-/- fish are hypersensitive to melatonin, but not other hypnotic compounds. Subthreshold doses of melatonin increased the amount of sleep and consolidated sleep in hcrtr-/- fish, but not in the wild-type siblings. These results demonstrate the existence of a functional HCRT neurons-pineal gland circuit able to modulate melatonin production and sleep consolidation. PMID:19966231

  7. Melatonin Metabolism in the Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2010-01-01

    The metabolism of melatonin in the central nervous system is of interest for several reasons. Melatonin enters the brain either via the pineal recess or by uptake from the blood. It has been assumed to be also formed in some brain areas. Neuroprotection by melatonin has been demonstrated in numerous model systems, and various attempts have been undertaken to counteract neurodegeneration by melatonin treatment. Several concurrent pathways lead to different products. Cytochrome P450 subforms have been demonstrated in the brain. They either demethylate melatonin to N-acetylserotonin, or produce 6-hydroxymelatonin, which is mostly sulfated already in the CNS. Melatonin is deacetylated, at least in pineal gland and retina, to 5-methoxytryptamine. N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine is formed by pyrrole-ring cleavage, by myeloperoxidase, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and various non-enzymatic oxidants. Its product, N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine, is of interest as a scavenger of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, mitochondrial modulator, downregulator of cyclooxygenase-2, inhibitor of cyclooxygenase, neuronal and inducible NO synthases. Contrary to other nitrosated aromates, the nitrosated kynuramine metabolite, 3-acetamidomethyl-6-methoxycinnolinone, does not re-donate NO. Various other products are formed from melatonin and its metabolites by interaction with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. The relative contribution of the various pathways to melatonin catabolism seems to be influenced by microglia activation, oxidative stress and brain levels of melatonin, which may be strongly changed in experiments on neuroprotection. Many of the melatonin metabolites, which may appear in elevated concentrations after melatonin administration, possess biological or pharmacological properties, including N-acetylserotonin, 5-methoxytryptamine and some of its derivatives, and especially the 5-methoxylated kynuramines. PMID:21358968

  8. Effects and mechanisms of melatonin on neural differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Shu, Tao; Wu, Tao; Pang, Mao; Liu, Chang; Wang, Xuan; Wang, Juan; Liu, Bin; Rong, Limin

    2016-06-01

    Melatonin, a lipophilic molecule mainly synthesized in the pineal gland, has properties of antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and antiapoptosis to improve neuroprotective functions. Here, we investigate effects and mechanisms of melatonin on neural differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). iPSCs were induced into neural stem cells (NSCs), then further differentiated into neurons in medium with or without melatonin, melatonin receptor antagonist (Luzindole) or Phosphatidylinositide 3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (LY294002). Melatonin significantly promoted the number of neurospheres and cell viability. In addition, Melatonin markedly up-regulated gene and protein expression of Nestin and MAP2. However, Luzindole or LY294002 attenuated these increase. The expression of pAKT/AKT were increased by Melatonin, while Luzindole or LY294002 declined these melatonin-induced increase. These results suggest that melatonin significantly increased neural differentiation of iPSCs via activating PI3K/AKT signaling pathway through melatonin receptor. PMID:27130826

  9. Melatonin and its relation to the immune system and inflammation.

    PubMed

    Reiter, R J; Calvo, J R; Karbownik, M; Qi, W; Tan, D X

    2000-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) was initially thought to be produced exclusively in the pineal gland. Subsequently its synthesis was demonstrated in other organs, for example, the retinas, and very high concentrations of melatonin are found at other sites, for example, bone marrow cells and bile. The origin of the high level of melatonin in these locations has not been definitively established, but it is likely not exclusively of pineal origin. Melatonin has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory effects, among a number of actions. Melatonin reduces tissue destruction during inflammatory reactions by a number of means. Thus melatonin, by virtue of its ability to directly scavenge toxic free radicals, reduces macromolecular damage in all organs. The free radicals and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species known to be scavenged by melatonin include the highly toxic hydroxyl radical (.OH), peroxynitrite anion (ONOO-), and hypochlorous acid (HOCl), among others. These agents all contribute to the inflammatory response and associated tissue destruction. Additionally, melatonin has other means to lower the damage resulting from inflammation. Thus, it prevents the translocation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) to the nucleus and its binding to DNA, thereby reducing the upregulation of a variety of proinflammatory cytokines, for example, interleukins and tumor neurosis factor-alpha. Finally, there is indirect evidence that melatonin inhibits the production of adhesion molecules that promote the sticking of leukocytes to endothelial cells. By this means melatonin attenuates transendothelial cell migration and edema, which contribute to tissue damage. PMID:11268363

  10. COSMOS 2044. Experiment K-7-19. Pineal physiology in microgravity: Relation to rat gonadal function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holley, D.; Soliman, M. R. I.; Krasnov, I.; Asadi, H.

    1989-01-01

    It is now known that the pineal organ can interact with many endocrine and nonendocrine tissues in a regulatory fashion. Given its key role in the regulation of melatonin synthesis, its high concentration, and that its levels may persist longer than the more rapidly changing melatonin, it was felt that serotonin might give a more accurate assessment of the effects of microgravity on pineal function following recovery of animals from flight. Five-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA), a major metabolite of serotonin metabolism, was also measured. One of the most interesting concomitants to spaceflight and exposure to microgravity has been the disturbing alteration in calcium metabolism and resulting skeletal effects. Given the link between exposure to microgravity and perturbation of calcium metabolism and the fact that the pineal is apparently one of the only soft tissues to calcify, pineal calcium content was examined following spaceflight.

  11. Hepatoprotective actions of melatonin: Possible mediation by melatonin receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mathes, Alexander M

    2010-01-01

    Melatonin, the hormone of darkness and messenger of the photoperiod, is also well known to exhibit strong direct and indirect antioxidant properties. Melatonin has previously been demonstrated to be a powerful organ protective substance in numerous models of injury; these beneficial effects have been attributed to the hormone’s intense radical scavenging capacity. The present report reviews the hepatoprotective potential of the pineal hormone in various models of oxidative stress in vivo, and summarizes the extensive literature showing that melatonin may be a suitable experimental substance to reduce liver damage after sepsis, hemorrhagic shock, ischemia/reperfusion, and in numerous models of toxic liver injury. Melatonin’s influence on hepatic antioxidant enzymes and other potentially relevant pathways, such as nitric oxide signaling, hepatic cytokine and heat shock protein expression, are evaluated. Based on recent literature demonstrating the functional relevance of melatonin receptor activation for hepatic organ protection, this article finally suggests that melatonin receptors could mediate the hepatoprotective actions of melatonin therapy. PMID:21182223

  12. Melatonin Effects on Hard Tissues: Bone and Tooth

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jie; Huang, Fang; He, Hong-Wen

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin is an endogenous hormone rhythmically produced in the pineal gland under the control of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and the light/dark cycle. This indole plays an important role in many physiological processes including circadian entrainment, blood pressure regulation, seasonal reproduction, ovarian physiology, immune function, etc. Recently, the investigation and applications of melatonin in the hard tissues bone and tooth have received great attention. Melatonin has been investigated relative to bone remolding, osteoporosis, osseointegration of dental implants and dentine formation. In the present review, we discuss the large body of published evidence and review data of melatonin effects on hard tissues, specifically, bone and tooth. PMID:23665905

  13. Melatonin involvement in oxidative processes.

    PubMed

    Ianăş, O; Olinescu, R; Bădescu, I

    1991-01-01

    The fact that the pineal gland, by its melatonin (MT) production, responds to environmental light variations (the day-night cycle), being also a modulator of the body adaptation to these conditions, may lead to the assumption of its involvement in the body oxidative processes. The redox capacity of melatonin was followed-up in vitro by the chemiluminescence phenomenon. The system generating chemiluminescence as well as free radicals was made up of luminol and H2O2. Incubation of melatonin in doses of 0.08-0.5 microM/ml with the generating system showed that in doses under 0.25 microM/ml melatonin has a pro-oxidative effect while in doses above this value it has an antioxidative effect. The diagram of the results shows the answer specific to a modulator. The study of the correlation between the dose of melatonin with highest pro-oxidative properties and the various peroxide concentrations in the generating system showed that melatonin gets antioxidative properties with the increase in peroxide concentrations (less than 8 mM/ml). In the presence of a hypothalamic homogenate, which is a stimulant of the chemiluminescence-generating system (PXI = 16), melatonin has a dose-dependent antioxidative effect. Similar results were also obtained by adding tryptophan--a free radicals acceptor (PXI = 0.1) and the substrate in melatonin synthesis to the reaction medium. Melatonin in low concentrations (greater than 0.1 microM/ml) has an antioxidative effect while in higher doses it has a dose-dependent pro-oxidative effect.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1821072

  14. Morphofunctional and signaling molecules overlap of the pineal gland and thymus: role and significance in aging.

    PubMed

    Paltsev, Michael A; Polyakova, Victoria O; Kvetnoy, Igor M; Anderson, George; Kvetnaia, Tatiana V; Linkova, Natalia S; Paltseva, Ekaterina M; Rubino, Rosa; De Cosmo, Salvatore; De Cata, Angelo; Mazzoccoli, Gianluigi

    2016-03-15

    Deficits in neuroendocrine-immune system functioning, including alterations in pineal and thymic glands, contribute to aging-associated diseases. This study looks at ageing-associated alterations in pineal and thymic gland functioning evaluating common signaling molecules present in both human and animal pinealocytes and thymocytes: endocrine cell markers (melatonin, serotonin, pCREB, AANAT, CGRP, VIP, chromogranin А); cell renovation markers (p53, AIF, Ki67), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP2, MMP9) and lymphocytes markers (CD4, CD5, CD8, CD20). Pineal melatonin is decreased, as is one of the melatonin pathway synthesis enzymes in the thymic gland. A further similarity is the increased MMPs levels evident over age in both glands. Significant differences are evident in cell renovation processes, which deteriorate more quickly in the aged thymus versus the pineal gland. Decreases in the number of pineal B-cells and thymic T-cells were also observed over aging. Collected data indicate that cellular involution of the pineal gland and thymus show many commonalities, but also significant changes in aging-associated proteins. It is proposed that such ageing-associated alterations in these two glands provide novel pharmaceutical targets for the wide array of medical conditions that are more likely to emerge over the course of ageing. PMID:26943046

  15. Morphofunctional and signaling molecules overlap of the pineal gland and thymus: role and significance in aging

    PubMed Central

    Paltsev, Michael A.; Polyakova, Victoria O.; Kvetnoy, Igor M.; Anderson, George; Kvetnaia, Tatiana V.; Linkova, Natalia S.; Paltseva, Ekaterina M.; Rubino, Rosa; De Cosmo, Salvatore; De Cata, Angelo; Mazzoccoli, Gianluigi

    2016-01-01

    Deficits in neuroendocrine-immune system functioning, including alterations in pineal and thymic glands, contribute to aging-associated diseases. This study looks at ageing-associated alterations in pineal and thymic gland functioning evaluating common signaling molecules present in both human and animal pinealocytes and thymocytes: endocrine cell markers (melatonin, serotonin, pCREB, AANAT, CGRP, VIP, chromogranin A); cell renovation markers (p53, AIF, Ki67), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP2, MMP9) and lymphocytes markers (CD4, CD5, CD8, CD20). Pineal melatonin is decreased, as is one of the melatonin pathway synthesis enzymes in the thymic gland. A further similarity is the increased MMPs levels evident over age in both glands. Significant differences are evident in cell renovation processes, which deteriorate more quickly in the aged thymus versus the pineal gland. Decreases in the number of pineal B-cells and thymic T-cells were also observed over aging. Collected data indicate that cellular involution of the pineal gland and thymus show many commonalities, but also significant changes in aging-associated proteins. It is proposed that such ageing-associated alterations in these two glands provide novel pharmaceutical targets for the wide array of medical conditions that are more likely to emerge over the course of ageing. PMID:26943046

  16. Melatonin as a proconvulsive hormone in humans.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Tsagas, N; Anninos, P A

    1992-03-01

    The pineal gland and melatonin exert a major influence in the control of brain electrical activity and have been shown to be involved in seizure and sleep mechanisms. Since pinealectomy has been reported to result in seizures in experimental animals, it is assumed that melatonin has anticonvulsant properties. Indeed, limited studies in humans with temporal lobe epilepsy indicate that melatonin attenuates seizure activity. In the present communication we present evidence, based on magnetoencephalographic (MEG) brain measurements, that melatonin may exert proconvulsive activity in humans as well. The proconvulsive properties of melatonin may explain several phenomena associated with epilepsy such as the increased occurrence of seizures at night when melatonin plasma levels are 5 to 8-fold higher than during the day and the observed exacerbation of seizures premenstrually and during pregnancy as well as the attenuation of seizures in the menopause. Furthermore, our findings suggest that anticonvulsants which decrease melatonin secretion, such as the benzodiazepines, may exert their antiepileptic activity by attenuating nocturnal melatonin secretion. Finally, we propose that patients with nocturnal epilepsy or those experiencing exacerbation of seizures premenstrually may benefit from the administration of agents which block the secretion or action of melatonin. PMID:1342024

  17. Pineal proteins upregulate specific antioxidant defense systems in the brain.

    PubMed

    Bharti, Vijay K; Srivastava, R S

    2009-01-01

    The neuroendocrine functions of the pineal affect a wide variety of glandular and nervous system processes. Beside melatonin (MEL), the pineal gland secretes and expresses certain proteins essential for various physiological functions. It has been suggested that the pineal gland may also have an antioxidant role due to secretory product other than MEL. Therefore, the present study was designed to study the effect of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) pineal proteins (PP) on the antioxidant defense system in the brain of female rats. The twenty-four rats were taken in present study and were divided into four groups: control (0 day), control (28 day), vehicle control and buffalo PP. The PP was injected 100 μg/kg BW intraperitoneal (i.p.) daily for 28 days. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR) and reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration and the levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in the brain tissue were measured to assess the antioxidant systems. These enzymes protect from adverse effects of free radicals and help in amelioration of oxidative stress. Buffalo pineal proteins administration did not cause any effect on brain LPO, whereas GPx, GR and GSH were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased. However, SOD and CAT activities were increased to significant levels than the control in PP treated rats. Our study herein suggested that buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) pineal proteins upregulates specific antioxidant defense systems and can be useful in control of various oxidative stress-induced neuronal diseases. PMID:20357930

  18. The pineal gland and the mode of onset of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R

    1992-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that abnormal melatonin functions may be implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Since there is evidence that the presence of pineal calcification (PC) may relate, among other factors, to disturbances in melatonin secretion, I investigated in 23 chronic institutionalized schizophrenic patients the relationship of PC size on CT scan to the mode of onset of schizophrenia which carries both developmental and prognostic significance. Patients with gradual onset schizophrenia had PC size that was significantly larger than those with sudden onset (8.94 +/- 3.96 mm vs. 4.80 +/- 1.75 mm p < .025). These findings suggest that the nature of onset of schizophrenia may be influenced by the activity of the pineal gland, which may exert a role in the development and prognosis of the illness. PMID:1305641

  19. Melatonin is rhythmic in newborn seals exposed to continuous light.

    PubMed

    Aarseth, J J; Van't Hof, T J; Stokkan, K-A

    2003-02-01

    We have investigated the effect of continuous light and darkness on plasma levels of melatonin in relation to the extremely large and active pineal gland typically found in newborn seals. Plasma levels of melatonin in captive newborn harp (Phoca groenlandica) and hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) were generally extremely high, with peak concentrations ranging from 0.8 ng/ml to 62.3 ng/ml. Moreover, plasma melatonin showed a similar, pronounced rhythmicity, both outdoors under natural light conditions (hooded seal only) and indoors under either 30 h of continuous light (490 lux) or 30 h of darkness (0 lux). In all animals, the melatonin rhythm was closely associated with the outdoor light-dark cycle. We suggest that the melatonin rhythmicity in newborn seals is mainly under circadian control and that it originates by maternal influence in the foetus. Daytime plasma concentrations of melatonin were also measured in foetal hooded seals and their mothers. The foetal melatonin level was similar to daytime levels in newborns and was about five times higher than in their mothers, which indicates a significant flow of foetal melatonin to the mother. We speculate that the large pineal gland and high melatonin levels in the newborn seals are temporary consequences of a foetal strategy to affect the maternal blood supply during diving. PMID:12592441

  20. MELATONIN ENHANCES JUNCTIONAL TRANSFER IN NORMAL C3H/1OT1/2 CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is strong evidence that pineal melatonin is involved in controlling neoplastic processes. e have reported that physiological, but not pharmacological or subphysiological, concentrations of melatonin enhance intercellular communication in normal C3H/1OT1/2 fibroblasts. ap ju...

  1. The effect of age and pre-light melatonin concentration on the melatonin sensitivity to dim light.

    PubMed

    Nathan, P J; Burrows, G D; Norman, T R

    1999-05-01

    The hormone melatonin is secreted at night from the pineal gland, with light being a potent inhibitor of its secretion. Age related decreases in plasma melatonin concentrations have indicated that this may be related to pineal calcification with aging. Recently, it was shown that the melatonin sensitivity to light may be a biological marker of bipolar disorder. However, on average, patients were older than the control group in most studies, and it is not known if age has an effect on the melatonin suppression by light. To test this hypothesis, the present study investigated the effect of age on the melatonin sensitivity to dim light (200 lux). Participants were grouped into three age groups. On the testing night, they were placed in a dark room from 21.00 h to 02.30 h. Light exposure was for an hour from midnight to 01.00 h. Blood samples were collected at regular intervals for measurement of plasma melatonin. No significant differences were found in the percentage suppression of melatonin within the age groups defined in the present study (P > 0.5). No correlation was also found between age and percentage suppression of melatonin (r2 = 0.007; P > 0.1). Our results suggest that the melatonin suppression by light (200 lux) is not affected by age. PMID:10435774

  2. A Review of Melatonin, Its Receptors and Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Emet, Mucahit; Ozcan, Halil; Ozel, Lutfu; Yayla, Muhammed; Halici, Zekai; Hacimuftuoglu, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    After a Turkish scientist took Nobel Prize due to his contributions to understand clock genes, melatonin, closely related to these genes, may begin to shine. Melatonin, a hormone secreted from the pineal gland at night, plays roles in regulating sleep-wake cycle, pubertal development and seasonal adaptation. Melatonin has antinociceptive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, antineophobic, locomotor activity-regulating, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, pain-modulating, blood pressure-reducing, retinal, vascular, anti-tumor and antioxidant effects. It is related with memory, ovarian physiology, and osteoblast differentiation. Pathologies associated with an increase or decrease in melatonin levels are summarized in the review. Melatonin affects by four mechanisms: 1) Binding to melatonin receptors in plasma membrane, 2) Binding to intracellular proteins such as calmoduline, 3) Binding to Orphan nuclear receptors, and 4) Antioxidant effect. Receptors associated with melatonin are as follows: 1) Melatonin receptor type 1a: MT1 (on cell membrane), 2) Melatonin receptor type 1b: MT2 (on cell membrane), 3) Melatonin receptor type 1c (found in fish, amphibians and birds), 4) Quinone reductase 2 enzyme (MT3 receptor, a detoxification enzyme), 5) RZR/RORα: Retinoid-related Orphan nuclear hormone receptor (with this receptor, melatonin binds to the transcription factors in nucleus), and 6) GPR50: X-linked Melatonin-related Orphan receptor (it is effective in binding of melatonin to MT1). Melatonin agonists such as ramelteon, agomelatine, circadin, TIK-301 and tasimelteon are introduced and side effects will be discussed. In conclusion, melatonin and related drugs is a new and promising era for medicine. Melatonin receptors and melatonin drugs will take attention with greater interest day by day in the future. PMID:27551178

  3. A Review of Melatonin, Its Receptors and Drugs.

    PubMed

    Emet, Mucahit; Ozcan, Halil; Ozel, Lutfu; Yayla, Muhammed; Halici, Zekai; Hacimuftuoglu, Ahmet

    2016-06-01

    After a Turkish scientist took Nobel Prize due to his contributions to understand clock genes, melatonin, closely related to these genes, may begin to shine. Melatonin, a hormone secreted from the pineal gland at night, plays roles in regulating sleep-wake cycle, pubertal development and seasonal adaptation. Melatonin has antinociceptive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, antineophobic, locomotor activity-regulating, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, pain-modulating, blood pressure-reducing, retinal, vascular, anti-tumor and antioxidant effects. It is related with memory, ovarian physiology, and osteoblast differentiation. Pathologies associated with an increase or decrease in melatonin levels are summarized in the review. Melatonin affects by four mechanisms: 1) Binding to melatonin receptors in plasma membrane, 2) Binding to intracellular proteins such as calmoduline, 3) Binding to Orphan nuclear receptors, and 4) Antioxidant effect. Receptors associated with melatonin are as follows: 1) Melatonin receptor type 1a: MT1 (on cell membrane), 2) Melatonin receptor type 1b: MT2 (on cell membrane), 3) Melatonin receptor type 1c (found in fish, amphibians and birds), 4) Quinone reductase 2 enzyme (MT3 receptor, a detoxification enzyme), 5) RZR/RORα: Retinoid-related Orphan nuclear hormone receptor (with this receptor, melatonin binds to the transcription factors in nucleus), and 6) GPR50: X-linked Melatonin-related Orphan receptor (it is effective in binding of melatonin to MT1). Melatonin agonists such as ramelteon, agomelatine, circadin, TIK-301 and tasimelteon are introduced and side effects will be discussed. In conclusion, melatonin and related drugs is a new and promising era for medicine. Melatonin receptors and melatonin drugs will take attention with greater interest day by day in the future. PMID:27551178

  4. Melatonin, endocrine pancreas and diabetes.

    PubMed

    Peschke, Elmar

    2008-01-01

    Melatonin influences insulin secretion both in vivo and in vitro. (i) The effects are MT(1)-and MT(2)-receptor-mediated. (ii) They are specific, high-affinity, pertussis-toxin-sensitive, G(i)-protein-coupled, leading to inhibition of the cAMP-pathway and decrease of insulin release. [Correction added after online publication 4 December 2007: in the preceding sentence, 'increase of insulin release' was changed to 'decrease of insulin release'.] Furthermore, melatonin inhibits the cGMP-pathway, possibly mediated by MT(2) receptors. In this way, melatonin likely inhibits insulin release. A third system, the IP(3)-pathway, is mediated by G(q)-proteins, phospholipase C and IP(3), which mobilize Ca(2+) from intracellular stores, with a resultant increase in insulin. (iii) Insulin secretion in vivo, as well as from isolated islets, exhibits a circadian rhythm. This rhythm, which is apparently generated within the islets, is influenced by melatonin, which induces a phase shift in insulin secretion. (iv) Observation of the circadian expression of clock genes in the pancreas could possibly be an indication of the generation of circadian rhythms in the pancreatic islets themselves. (v) Melatonin influences diabetes and associated metabolic disturbances. The diabetogens, alloxan and streptozotocin, lead to selective destruction of beta-cells through their accumulation in these cells, where they induce the generation of ROS. Beta-cells are very susceptible to oxidative stress because they possess only low-antioxidative capacity. Results suggest that melatonin in pharmacological doses provides protection against ROS. (vi) Finally, melatonin levels in plasma, as well as the arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) activity, are lower in diabetic than in nondiabetic rats and humans. In contrast, in the pineal gland, the AANAT mRNA is increased and the insulin receptor mRNA is decreased, which indicates a close interrelationship between insulin and melatonin. PMID:18078445

  5. Pineal region tumors: Clinical symptoms and syndromes.

    PubMed

    Rousselle, C; des Portes, V; Berlier, P; Mottolese, C

    2015-01-01

    The present paper investigates the clinical picture and the different clinical signs that reveal pineal region tumors or appear during the course of the follow-up. Biological malignancy and tumor extension determine the semiology and its setting up mode. Typical endocrine signs, dominated by abnormal puberty development, are frequently a part of the clinical scene. Bifocal or ectopic localization in the hypothalamic-pituitary region is accompanied by other endocrine signs such as ante- or post-pituitary insufficiencies which occur several months or even years after the first neurological signs appear. Due to a mass syndrome and obstructive hydrocephalus, intracranial hypertension signs are frequent but unspecific. A careful ophthalmologic examination is essential to search upward gaze paralysis and other signs of the Parinaud's tetrad or pentad. Midbrain dysfunction, including extrinsic aqueduct stenosis, are also prevalent. Except for abnormal pubertal signs, hyper-melatoninemia (secretory tumors) or a-hypo-melatoninemia (tumors destructing pineal) generally remains dormant. Some patients present sleep problems such as narcolepsy or sleepiness during the daytime as well as behavioral problems. This suggests a hypothalamic extension rather than a true consequence of melatonin secretion anomalies. Similarly, some patients may present signs of a "pinealectomized" syndrome, including (cluster) headaches, tiredness, eventually responsive to melatonin. PMID:24439798

  6. GABAergic signaling in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Yu, Haijie; Benitez, Sergio G; Jung, Seung-Ryoung; Farias Altamirano, Luz E; Kruse, Martin; Seo, Jong Bae; Koh, Duk-Su; Muñoz, Estela M; Hille, Bertil

    2016-08-01

    Pinealocytes secrete melatonin at night in response to norepinephrine released from sympathetic nerve terminals in the pineal gland. The gland also contains many other neurotransmitters whose cellular disposition, activity, and relevance to pineal function are not understood. Here, we clarify sources and demonstrate cellular actions of the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry of the gland and electrical recording from pinealocytes. GABAergic cells and nerve fibers, defined as containing GABA and the synthetic GAD67, were identified. The cells represent a subset of interstitial cells while the nerve fibers were distinct from the sympathetic innervation. The GABAA receptor subunit α1 was visualized in close proximity of both GABAergic and sympathetic nerve fibers as well as fine extensions among pinealocytes and blood vessels. The GABAB 1 receptor subunit was localized in the interstitial compartment but not in pinealocytes. Electrophysiology of isolated pinealocytes revealed that GABA and muscimol elicit strong inward chloride currents sensitive to bicuculline and picrotoxin, clear evidence for functional GABAA receptors on the surface membrane. Applications of elevated potassium solution or the neurotransmitter acetylcholine depolarized the pinealocyte membrane potential enough to open voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels leading to intracellular calcium elevations. GABA repolarized the membrane and shut off such calcium rises. In 48-72-h cultured intact glands, GABA application neither triggered melatonin secretion by itself nor affected norepinephrine-induced secretion. Thus, strong elements of GABA signaling are present in pineal glands that make large electrical responses in pinealocytes, but physiological roles need to be found. PMID:27019076

  7. Redox capacity of the pineal gland in rats. Effect of castration.

    PubMed

    Ianăs, O; Olinescu, R; Bădescu, I

    1993-01-01

    The day/night cycle-induced effects, and the effect of castration on pineal oxidative potential in rats, were studied herein. Experiments were made in adult and castrated Wistar rats kept under normal light conditions during winter (on December and January). Castration was performed 72 hrs before sacrification. Groups of 6 intact or castrated animals were sacrificed at 4 hr-intervals during 24 hrs (the day/night cycle). Blood and pineal were then taken. Peroxides and total pineal antioxidants in plasma and pineal homogenate were assessed by chemiluminescence. The results obtained prove that photoperiod is involved in the organism oxidative potential, and that pineal is involved in the diurnal rhythm of this potential. Pineal peroxide and antioxidative concentrations show circadian variations with minimum and maximal values during the day or the night, which are also reflected at the plasma level. In the first half of the morning are registered increased peroxide and decreased antioxidative levels while at night the diagrams are reversed. As compared to the intact group, in the castrated one antioxidants and peroxides maintain their biorhythms but their concentrations are significantly changed. The diagram of pineal peroxides in the castrated group is situated above that of the intact one, with statistically significant differences only at midday (12:00). Taking into account the antioxidative characteristics of melatonin, one can suppose that maximum pineal antioxidative levels during the night might be due to maximum concentrations of nocturnal melatonin. The significant increase in peroxide concentration and the decrease in antioxidants after castration would partly explain the physiologic status of the elderly with decreased melatonin production and increased oxidative processes. PMID:7697061

  8. Potency of Melatonin in Living Beings

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Donchan

    2013-01-01

    Living beings are surrounded by various changes exhibiting periodical rhythms in environment. The environmental changes are imprinted in organisms in various pattern. The phenomena are believed to match the external signal with organisms in order to increase their survival rate. The signals are categorized into circadian, seasonal, and annual cycles. Among the cycles, the circadian rhythm is regarded as the most important factor because its periodicity is in harmony with the levels of melatonin secreted from pineal gland. Melatonin is produced by the absence of light and its presence displays darkness. Melatonin plays various roles in creatures. Therefore, this review is to introduce the diverse potential ability of melatonin in manifold aspects in living organism. PMID:25949131

  9. Some questions provoked by a chronic headache (with mixed migraine and cluster headache features) in a woman with a pineal cyst. Answers from a literature review.

    PubMed

    Molina-Martínez, F J; Jiménez-Martínez, M C; Vives-Pastor, B

    2010-09-01

    The main known function of the pineal gland in humans is the production of melatonin. Benign cysts of the gland have been related to headache, although the mechanism of production of this assumed clinical manifestation has not been clearly determined, due to the lack of large prospective studies. The question is complicated by the fact that pineal cysts are frequently found on brain magnetic resonance imaging. Much has been published about the possible role of benign pineal cysts in the pathophisiology of headaches and the potential of melatonin in headache therapy, as well as in other disorders. The aim of this article is to review the current state of the subject. We have tried to place accurately the relation between headache and pineal cysts based on the available evidence, as well as the actual role of melatonin in physiology and pharmacology, more specifically in headache therapy. We include a clinical case to illustrate the subject. PMID:20799383

  10. CCNP Award Paper: Unveiling the role of melatonin MT2 receptors in sleep, anxiety and other neuropsychiatric diseases: a novel target in psychopharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Comai, Stefano; Gobbi, Gabriella

    2014-01-01

    Background Melatonin (MLT) is a pleiotropic neurohormone controlling many physiological processes and whose dysfunction may contribute to several different diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, circadian and mood disorders, insomnia, type 2 diabetes and pain. Melatonin is synthesized by the pineal gland during the night and acts through 2 G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), MT1 (MEL1a) and MT2 (MEL1b). Although a bulk of research has examined the physiopathological effects of MLT, few studies have investigated the selective role played by MT1 and MT2 receptors. Here we have reviewed current knowledge about the implications of MT2 receptors in brain functions. Methods We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar and articles reference lists for studies on MT2 receptor ligands in sleep, anxiety, neuropsychiatric diseases and psychopharmacology, including genetic studies on the MTNR1B gene, which encodes the melatonin MT2 receptor. Results These studies demonstrate that MT2 receptors are involved in the pathophysiology and pharmacology of sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer disease and pain and that selective MT2 receptor agonists show hypnotic and anxiolytic properties. Limitations Studies examining the role of MT2 receptors in psychopharmacology are still limited. Conclusion The development of novel selective MT2 receptor ligands, together with further preclinical in vivo studies, may clarify the role of this receptor in brain function and psychopharmacology. The superfamily of GPCRs has proven to be among the most successful drug targets and, consequently, MT2 receptors have great potential for pioneer drug discovery in the treatment of mental diseases for which limited therapeutic targets are currently available. PMID:23971978

  11. The role of melatonin in diabetes: therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Shweta; Singh, Hemant; Ahmad, Nabeel; Mishra, Priyanka; Tiwari, Archana

    2015-10-01

    Melatonin referred as the hormone of darkness is mainly secreted by pineal gland, its levels being elevated during night and low during the day. The effects of melatonin on insulin secretion are mediated through the melatonin receptors (MT1 and MT2). It decreases insulin secretion by inhibiting cAMP and cGMP pathways but activates the phospholipaseC/IP3 pathway, which mobilizes Ca2+from organelles and, consequently increases insulin secretion. Both in vivo and in vitro, insulin secretion by the pancreatic islets in a circadian manner, is due to the melatonin action on the melatonin receptors inducing a phase shift in the cells. Melatonin may be involved in the genesis of diabetes as a reduction in melatonin levels and a functional interrelationship between melatonin and insulin was observed in diabetic patients. Evidences from experimental studies proved that melatonin induces production of insulin growth factor and promotes insulin receptor tyrosine phosphorylation. The disturbance of internal circadian system induces glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which could be restored by melatonin supplementation. Therefore, the presence of melatonin receptors on human pancreatic islets may have an impact on pharmacotherapy of type 2 diabetes. PMID:26331226

  12. Pineal calcification in Alzheimer's disease: an in vivo study using computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Mahlberg, Richard; Walther, Sebastian; Kalus, Peter; Bohner, Georg; Haedel, Sven; Reischies, Friedel M; Kühl, Klaus-Peter; Hellweg, Rainer; Kunz, Dieter

    2008-02-01

    Melatonin has been postulated to have diverse properties, acting as an antioxidant, a neuroprotector, or a stabilizer within the circadian timing system, and is thus thought to be involved in the aging process and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We used computed tomography to determine the degree of pineal calcification (DOC), an intra-individual melatonin deficit marker, as well as the size of uncalcified pineal tissue, in 279 consecutive memory clinic outpatients (AD: 155; other dementia: 25; mild cognitive impairment: 33; depression: 66) and 37 age-matched controls. The size of uncalcified pineal tissue in patients with AD (mean 0.15 cm(2) [S.D. 0.24]) was significantly smaller than in patients with other types of dementia (0.26 [0.34]; P=0.038), with depression (0.28 [0.34]; P=0.005), or in controls (0.25 [0.31]; P=0.027). Additionally, the DOC in patients with AD (mean 76.2% [S.D. 26.6]) was significantly higher than in patients with other types of dementia (63.7 [34.7]; P=0.042), with depression (60.5 [33.8]; P=0.001), or in controls (64.5 [30.6]; P=0.021). These two findings may reflect two different aspects of melatonin in AD. On the one hand, the absolute amount of melatonin excretion capability, as indicated by uncalcified pineal volume, refers to the antioxidant properties of melatonin. On the other hand, the relative reduction in melatonin production capability in the individual, as indicated by DOC, refers to the circadian properties of melatonin. PMID:17097768

  13. Pineal gland function is required for colon antipreneoplastic effects of physical exercise in rats.

    PubMed

    Frajacomo, F T T; de Paula Garcia, W; Fernandes, C R; Garcia, S B; Kannen, V

    2015-10-01

    Light-at-night exposure enhances the risk of cancer. Colon cancer is among the most dangerous tumors affecting humankind. Physical exercise has shown positive effects against colon cancer. Here, we investigated whether pineal gland modulates antipreneoplastic effects of physical exercise in the colon. Surgical and non-surgical pineal impairments were performed to clarify the relationship between the pineal gland activity and manifestation of colonic preneoplastic lesions. Next, a progressive swimming training was applied in rats exposed or not to either non-surgical pineal impairment or carcinogen treatment for 10 weeks. Both surgical and non-surgical pineal impairments increased the development of colon preneoplasia. It was further found that impairing the pineal gland function, higher rates of DNA damage were induced in colonic epithelial and enteric glial cells. Physical exercise acted positively against preneoplasia, whereas impairing the pineal function with constant light exposure disrupts its positive effects on the development of preneoplastic lesions in the colon. This was yet related to increased DNA damage in glial cells and enteric neuronal activation aside from serum melatonin levels. Our findings suggest that protective effects of physical exercise against colon cancer are dependent on the pineal gland activity. PMID:25487536

  14. Melatonin improves experimental colitis with sleep deprivation

    PubMed Central

    PARK, YOUNG-SOOK; CHUNG, SOOK-HEE; LEE, SEONG-KYU; KIM, JA-HYUN; KIM, JUN-BONG; KIM, TAE-KYUN; KIM, DONG-SHIN; BAIK, HAING-WOON

    2015-01-01

    Sleep deprivation (SD) is an epidemic phenomenon in modern countries, and its harmful effects are well known. SD acts as an aggravating factor in inflammatory bowel disease. Melatonin is a sleep-related neurohormone, also known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the gastrointestinal tract; however, the effects of melatonin on colitis have been poorly characterized. Thus, in this study, we assessed the measurable effects of SD on experimental colitis and the protective effects of melatonin. For this purpose, male imprinting control region (ICR) mice (n=24) were used; the mice were divided into 4 experimental groups as follows: the control, colitis, colitis with SD and colitis with SD and melatonin groups. Colitis was induced by the administration of 5% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in the drinking water for 6 days. The mice were sleep-deprived for 3 days. Changes in body weight, histological analyses of colon tissues and the expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and genes were evaluated. SD aggravated inflammation and these effects were reversed by melatonin in the mice with colitis. In addition, weight loss in the mice with colitis with SD was significantly reduced by the injection of melatonin. Treatment with melatonin led to high survival rates in the mice, in spite of colitis with SD. The levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-17, interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α, in the serum of mice were significantly increased by SD and reduced by melatonin treatment. The melatonin-treated group showed a histological improvement of inflammation. Upon gene analysis, the expression of the inflammatory genes, protein kinase Cζ (PKCζ) and calmodulin 3 (CALM3), was increased by SD, and the levels decreased following treatment with melatonin. The expression levels of the apoptosis-related inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 5A (Wnt5a) genes was

  15. Is the pineal gland involved in the pathogenesis of endometrial carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Anastasiadis, P G; Anninos, P A; Tsagas, N

    1992-01-01

    The pathogenesis of endometrial carcinoma, which is the most common malignant neoplasm of the female genital tract, is unknown. It is believed that a prolonged period of increased estrogenic exposure unopposed by progesterone may underlie the malignant transformation of the endometrial cells. In the following communication, we propose that deficient melatonin functions may be an additional endocrine factor implicated in the pathogenesis of endometrial carcinoma. This hypothesis is based on the observations that: (a) melatonin has antiestrogenic properties; (b) melatonin stimulates progesterone production which opposes the action of estrogens; (c) an increased rate of endometrial hyperplasia, a premalignant condition, has been noted during the winter, a time of year associated with diminished melatonin secretion; (d) an increased incidence of anovulatory cycles, which is a risk factor for endometrial carcinoma, occurs in the winter; (e) melatonin secretion decreases sharply during the menopause, a period associated with an increased risk of endometrial carcinoma; (f) obesity, which is a major risk factor for endometrial carcinoma, is associated with impaired circadian melatonin secretion; (g) diabetes mellitus, which is an additional risk factor for endometrial carcinoma, is associated with decreased melatonin secretion and an increased rate of pineal calcification; and (h) the prevalence of endometrial carcinoma is lower in the black population compared to the white population. Similarly, the incidence of pineal calcification, which reflects the secretory activity of the gland, is significantly lower in the African and American black populations as compared to the white population.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1342018

  16. Melatonin receptors: latest insights from mouse models

    PubMed Central

    Tosini, Gianluca; Owino, Sharon; Guillame, Jean-Luc; Jockers, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Summary Melatonin, the neuro-hormone synthesized during the night, has recently seen an unexpected extension of its functional implications towards type 2 diabetes development, visual functions, sleep disturbances and depression. Transgenic mouse models were instrumental for the establishment of the link between melatonin and these major human diseases. Most of the actions of melatonin are mediated by two types of G protein-coupled receptors, named MT1 and MT2, which are expressed in many different organs and tissues. Understanding the pharmacology and function of mouse MT1 and MT2 receptors, including MT1/MT2 heteromers, will be of crucial importance to evaluate the relevance of these mouse models for future therapeutic developments. This review will critically discuss these aspects, and give some perspectives including the generation of new mouse models. PMID:24903552

  17. Pineal toxoplasmosis mimicking pineal tumor in an AIDS patient.

    PubMed

    Poon, T P; Behbahani, M; Matoso, I; Kim, B

    1994-07-01

    A pineal mass in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is reported. Computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a nodular mass in the pineal region with foci of calcification and obstruction of the aqueduct mimicking a pineal tumor. At autopsy, the brain revealed a well-circumscribed lesion with central necrosis in the pineal region suggestive of toxoplasma and involving the periaqueductal area. Susceptibility of a patient with AIDS to opportunistic infections should be considered. PMID:8064908

  18. Melatonin in human preovulatory follicular fluid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brzezinski, Amnon; Seibel, Machelle M.; Lynch, Harry J.; Deng, Mei-Hua; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1987-01-01

    Melatonin, the major hormone of the pineal gland, has antigonadotrophic activity in many mammals and may also be involved in human reproduction. Melatonin suppresses steroidogenesis by ovarian granulosa and luteal cells in vitro. To determine if melatonin is present in the human ovary, preovulatory follicular fluids (n = 32) from 15 women were assayed for melatonin by RIA after solvent extraction. The fluids were obtained by laparoscopy or sonographically controlled follicular puncture from infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. All patients had received clomiphene citrate, human menopausal gonadotropin, and hCG to stimulate follicle formation. Blood samples were obtained by venipuncture 30 min or less after follicular aspiration. All of the follicular fluids contained melatonin, in concentrations (35.6 plus or minus 4.8 (plus or minus SEM) pg/mL) substantially higher than those in the corresponding serum (10.0 plus or minus 1.4 pg/mL). A positive correlation was found between follicular fluid and serum melatonin levels in each woman (r = 0.770; P less than 0.001). These observations indicate that preovulatory follicles contain substantial amounts of melatonin that may affect ovarian steroidogenesis.

  19. Melatonin influence in ovary transplantation: systematic review.

    PubMed

    Shiroma, M E; Botelho, N M; Damous, L L; Baracat, E C; Soares-Jr, J M

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin is an indolamine produced by the pineal gland and it can exert a potent antioxidant effect. Its free radical scavenger properties have been used to advantage in different organ transplants in animal experiments. Several concentrations and administration pathways have been tested and melatonin has shown encouraging beneficial results in many transplants of organs such as the liver, lungs, heart, pancreas, and kidneys. The objective of the present study was to review the scientific literature regarding the use of melatonin in ovary transplantation. A systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement was carried out using the Cochrane and Pubmed databases and employing the terms 'melatonin' AND 'ovary' AND 'transplantation.' After analysis, 5 articles were extracted addressing melatonin use in ovary transplants and involving 503 animals. Melatonin enhanced various graft aspects like morphology, apoptosis, immunological reaction, revascularization, oxidative stress, and survival rate. Melatonin's antioxidative and antiapoptotic properties seemingly produce positive effects on ovarian graft activity. Despite the promising results, further studies in humans need to be conducted to consolidate its use, as ovary transplantation for fertility preservation is gradually being moved from the experimental stage to a clinical setting. PMID:27287621

  20. Diurnal rhythm of melatonin binding in the rat suprachiasmatic nucleus

    SciTech Connect

    Laitinen, J.T.; Castren, E.; Vakkuri, O.; Saavedra, J.M.

    1989-03-01

    We used quantitative in vitro autoradiography to localize and characterize 2-/sup 125/I-melatonin binding sites in the rat suprachiasmatic nuclei in relation to pineal melatonin production. In a light:dark cycle of 12:12 h, binding density exhibited significant diurnal variation with a peak at the dark-light transition and a trough 12 hours later. Saturation studies suggested that the decreased binding at light-dark transition might be due to a shift of the putative melatonin receptor to a low affinity state.

  1. Endocrine rhythms in the brown bear (Ursus arctos): Evidence supporting selection for decreased pineal gland size

    PubMed Central

    Ware, Jasmine V; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Carter, Patrick A; Sarver, Brice A J; Jansen, Heiko T

    2013-01-01

    Many temperate zone animals adapt to seasonal changes by altering their physiology. This is mediated in large part by endocrine signals that encode day length and regulate energy balance and metabolism. The objectives of this study were to determine if the daily patterns of two important hormones, melatonin and cortisol, varied with day length in captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) under anesthetized and nonanesthetized conditions during the active (March–October) and hibernation periods. Melatonin concentrations varied with time of day and season in nonanesthetized female bears despite exceedingly low nocturnal concentrations (1–4 pg/mL) in the active season. In contrast, melatonin concentrations during hibernation were 7.5-fold greater than those during the summer in anesthetized male bears. Functional assessment of the pineal gland revealed a slight but significant reduction in melatonin following nocturnal light application during hibernation, but no response to beta-adrenergic stimulation was detected in either season. Examination of pineal size in two bear species bears combined with a phylogenetically corrected analysis of pineal glands in 47 other species revealed a strong relationship to brain size. However, pineal gland size of both bear species deviated significantly from the expected pattern. Robust daily plasma cortisol rhythms were observed during the active season but not during hibernation. Cortisol was potently suppressed following injection with a synthetic glucocorticoid. The results suggest that melatonin and cortisol both retain their ability to reflect seasonal changes in day length in brown bears. The exceptionally small pineal gland in bears may be the result of direct or indirect selection. PMID:24303132

  2. Neurobiology, Pathophysiology, and Treatment of Melatonin Deficiency and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2012-01-01

    Melatonin is a highly pleiotropic signaling molecule, which is released as a hormone of the pineal gland predominantly during night. Melatonin secretion decreases during aging. Reduced melatonin levels are also observed in various diseases, such as types of dementia, some mood disorders, severe pain, cancer, and diabetes type 2. Melatonin dysfunction is frequently related to deviations in amplitudes, phasing, and coupling of circadian rhythms. Gene polymorphisms of melatonin receptors and circadian oscillator proteins bear risks for several of the diseases mentioned. A common symptom of insufficient melatonin signaling is sleep disturbances. It is necessary to distinguish between symptoms that are curable by short melatonergic actions and others that require extended actions during night. Melatonin immediate release is already effective, at moderate doses, for reducing difficulties of falling asleep or improving symptoms associated with poorly coupled circadian rhythms, including seasonal affective and bipolar disorders. For purposes of a replacement therapy based on longer-lasting melatonergic actions, melatonin prolonged release and synthetic agonists have been developed. Therapies with melatonin or synthetic melatonergic drugs have to consider that these agents do not only act on the SCN, but also on numerous organs and cells in which melatonin receptors are also expressed. PMID:22629173

  3. High membrane permeability for melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Haijie; Dickson, Eamonn J.; Jung, Seung-Ryoung; Koh, Duk-Su

    2016-01-01

    The pineal gland, an endocrine organ in the brain, synthesizes and secretes the circulating night hormone melatonin throughout the night. The literature states that this hormone is secreted by simple diffusion across the pinealocyte plasma membrane, but a direct quantitative measurement of membrane permeability has not been made. Experiments were designed to compare the cell membrane permeability to three indoleamines: melatonin and its precursors N-acetylserotonin (NAS) and serotonin (5-HT). The three experimental approaches were (1) to measure the concentration of effluxing indoleamines amperometrically in the bath while cells were being dialyzed internally by a patch pipette, (2) to measure the rise of intracellular indoleamine fluorescence as the compound was perfused in the bath, and (3) to measure the rate of quenching of intracellular fura-2 dye fluorescence as indoleamines were perfused in the bath. These measures showed that permeabilities of melatonin and NAS are high (both are uncharged molecules), whereas that for 5-HT (mostly charged) is much lower. Comparisons were made with predictions of solubility-diffusion theory and compounds of known permeability, and a diffusion model was made to simulate all of the measurements. In short, extracellular melatonin equilibrates with the cytoplasm in 3.5 s, has a membrane permeability of ∼1.7 µm/s, and could not be retained in secretory vesicles. Thus, it and NAS will be “secreted” from pineal cells by membrane diffusion. Circumstances are suggested when 5-HT and possibly catecholamines may also appear in the extracellular space passively by membrane diffusion. PMID:26712850

  4. High membrane permeability for melatonin.

    PubMed

    Yu, Haijie; Dickson, Eamonn J; Jung, Seung-Ryoung; Koh, Duk-Su; Hille, Bertil

    2016-01-01

    The pineal gland, an endocrine organ in the brain, synthesizes and secretes the circulating night hormone melatonin throughout the night. The literature states that this hormone is secreted by simple diffusion across the pinealocyte plasma membrane, but a direct quantitative measurement of membrane permeability has not been made. Experiments were designed to compare the cell membrane permeability to three indoleamines: melatonin and its precursors N-acetylserotonin (NAS) and serotonin (5-HT). The three experimental approaches were (1) to measure the concentration of effluxing indoleamines amperometrically in the bath while cells were being dialyzed internally by a patch pipette, (2) to measure the rise of intracellular indoleamine fluorescence as the compound was perfused in the bath, and (3) to measure the rate of quenching of intracellular fura-2 dye fluorescence as indoleamines were perfused in the bath. These measures showed that permeabilities of melatonin and NAS are high (both are uncharged molecules), whereas that for 5-HT (mostly charged) is much lower. Comparisons were made with predictions of solubility-diffusion theory and compounds of known permeability, and a diffusion model was made to simulate all of the measurements. In short, extracellular melatonin equilibrates with the cytoplasm in 3.5 s, has a membrane permeability of ∼1.7 µm/s, and could not be retained in secretory vesicles. Thus, it and NAS will be "secreted" from pineal cells by membrane diffusion. Circumstances are suggested when 5-HT and possibly catecholamines may also appear in the extracellular space passively by membrane diffusion. PMID:26712850

  5. On pineal calcification and its relation to subjective sleep perception: a hypothesis-driven pilot study.

    PubMed

    Kunz, D; Bes, F; Schlattmann, P; Herrmann, W M

    1998-06-30

    We classified the degree of pineal calcification (DOC) into seven groups using cranial Computer Tomography (cCT) and then correlated pineal DOC to chronic subjective sleep-related disturbances as measured by a sleep questionnaire in 36 patients. Analysed by logistic regression models, age and sex were not, but higher pineal DOC was significantly associated with the presence of daytime tiredness (OR = 4.15, 95% CI: 1.63, 10.54) and sleep disturbance (OR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.10, 2.74). This study provides initial confirmation of the hypothesis that the increasing degree of pineal calcification (DOC) might indicate a decrease of melatonin production, which consecutively might lead to a disturbed circadian rhythmicity in the sleep-wake cycle, with the principal symptom being daytime tiredness. PMID:9754443

  6. Marked rapid alterations in nocturnal pineal serotonin metabolism in mice and rats exposed to weak intermittent magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Lerchl, A.; Nonaka, K.O.; Stokkan, K.A.; Reiter, R.J. )

    1990-05-31

    Adult AMES mice and male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to an artificial magnetic field, generated by Helmholtz coils. 3.5 hours after the onset of darkness the coils were activated for one hour resulting in an inversion of the horizontal component of the earth's magnetic field. The coils were activated and deactivated at 5 min intervals during the 1 hour exposure period. In both mice and rats, the levels of serotonin in the pineal were markedly increased by the exposure. In rats, an increase of pineal 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid and a decrease of the activity of the pineal enzyme serotonin-N-acetyltransferase also was observed. However, pineal and serum melatonin levels were not altered. The results indicate that the metabolism of serotonin in the pineal is quickly affected by the exposure of animals to a magnetic field.

  7. 60 YEARS OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY: Regulation of mammalian neuroendocrine physiology and rhythms by melatonin.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Jonathan D; Skene, Debra J

    2015-08-01

    The isolation of melatonin was first reported in 1958. Since the demonstration that pineal melatonin synthesis reflects both daily and seasonal time, melatonin has become a key element of chronobiology research. In mammals, pineal melatonin is essential for transducing day-length information into seasonal physiological responses. Due to its lipophilic nature, melatonin is able to cross the placenta and is believed to regulate multiple aspects of perinatal physiology. The endogenous daily melatonin rhythm is also likely to play a role in the maintenance of synchrony between circadian clocks throughout the adult body. Pharmacological doses of melatonin are effective in resetting circadian rhythms if taken at an appropriate time of day, and can acutely regulate factors such as body temperature and alertness, especially when taken during the day. Despite the extensive literature on melatonin physiology, some key questions remain unanswered. In particular, the amplitude of melatonin rhythms has been recently associated with diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus but understanding of the physiological significance of melatonin rhythm amplitude remains poorly understood. PMID:26101375

  8. Light, melatonin and the sleep-wake cycle.

    PubMed Central

    Brown, G M

    1994-01-01

    Blood levels of the pineal hormone melatonin are high at night and low during the day. Its secretion is regulated by a rhythm-generating system located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, which is in turn regulated by light. Melatonin is regulated not only by that circadian oscillator but acts as a darkness signal, providing feedback to the oscillator. Melatonin has both a soporific effect and an ability to entrain the sleep-wake rhythm. It also has a major role in regulating the body temperature rhythm. Melatonin rhythms are altered in a variety of circadian rhythm disorders. Melatonin treatment has been reported to be effective in treatment of disorders such as jet lag and delayed sleep phase syndrome. PMID:7803368

  9. Melatonin site and mechanism of action: single or multiple?

    PubMed

    Cardinali, D P; Golombek, D A; Rosenstein, R E; Cutrera, R A; Esquifino, A I

    1997-08-01

    By affecting the entrainment pathways of the biologic clock, melatonin has a major influence on the circadian and seasonal organization of vertebrates. In addition, a number of versatile functions that far transcend melatonin actions on photoperiodic time measurement and circadian entrainment have emerged. Melatonin is a free radical scavenger and antioxidant and it has a significant immunomodulatory activity, being presumably a major factor in an organism's defense toxic agents and invading organisms. Besides affecting specific receptors in cell membranes to exert its effects, the interaction of melatonin with nuclear receptor sites and with intracellular proteins, like calmodulin or tubulin-associated proteins, as well as the direct antioxidant effects of melatonin, may explain many general functions of the pineal hormone. PMID:9379344

  10. Melatonin modulates secretion of growth hormone and prolactin by trout pituitary glands and cells in culture.

    PubMed

    Falcón, J; Besseau, L; Fazzari, D; Attia, J; Gaildrat, P; Beauchaud, M; Boeuf, G

    2003-10-01

    In Teleost fish, development, growth, and reproduction are influenced by the daily and seasonal variations of photoperiod and temperature. Early in vivo studies indicated the pineal gland mediates the effects of these external factors, most probably through the rhythmic production of melatonin. The present investigation was aimed at determining whether melatonin acts directly on the pituitary to control GH and prolactin (PRL) secretion in rainbow trout. We show that 2-[125I]-iodomelatonin, a melatonin analog, binds selectively to membrane preparations and tissue sections from trout pituitaries. The affinity was within the range of that found for the binding to brain microsomal preparations, but the number of binding sites was 20-fold less than in the brain. In culture, melatonin inhibited pituitary cAMP accumulation induced by forskolin, the adenyl cyclase stimulator. Forskolin also induced an increase in GH release, which was reduced in the presence of picomolar concentrations of melatonin. At higher concentrations, the effects of melatonin became stimulatory. In the absence of forskolin, melatonin induced a dose-dependent increase in GH release, and a dose-dependent decrease in PRL release. Melatonin effects were abolished upon addition of luzindole, a melatonin antagonist. Our results provide the first evidence that melatonin modulates GH and PRL secretion in Teleost fish pituitary. Melatonin effects on GH have never been reported in any vertebrate before. The effects result from a direct action of melatonin on pituitary cells. The complexity of the observed responses suggests several types of melatonin receptors might be involved. PMID:12960030

  11. Melatonin: its possible role in the management of viral infections-a brief review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin, a versatile molecule, is synthesized by the pineal gland but also by other organs, including gastrointestinal tract, retina, thymus, bone marrow, and by leukocytes. Besides playing an important role in various functions of the body, including sleep and circadian rhythm regulation, melatonin also shows immunoregulatory, free radical scavenger and antioxidant functions. Because of these latter characteristics melatonin has also been found to be effective in fighting viral infections in a variety of experimental animal and in vitro studies. These data suggest a possible therapeutic potential of melatonin in human virus-induced disorders. PMID:24090288

  12. Pineal and habenula calcification in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R

    1992-01-01

    Animal data indicate that melatonin secretion is stimulated by the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus and that lesions of the PVN mimic the endocrine effects of pinealectomy. Since the PVN lies adjacent to the third ventricle, I propose that periventricular damage, which is found in schizophrenia and may account for the third ventricular dilatation seen on computed tomographic (CT), may disrupt PVN-pineal interactions and ultimately enhance the process of pineal calcification (PC). To investigate this hypothesis, I conducted CT study on the relationship of PC size to third ventricular width (TVW) in 12 chronic schizophrenic patients (mean age: 33.7 years; SD = 7.3). For comparison, I also studied the relationship of PC size to the ventricular brain ratio and prefrontal cortical atrophy. As predicted, there was a significant correlation between PC size and TVW (r pbi = .61, p < .05), whereas PC was unrelated to the control neuroradiological measures. The findings support the hypothesis that periventricular damage may be involved in the process of PC in schizophrenia and may indirectly implicate damage to the PVN in the mechanisms underlying dysfunction of the pineal gland in schizophrenia. In a second study, I investigated the prevalence of habenular calcification (HAC) on CT in a cohort of 23 chronic schizophrenic-patients (mean age: 31.2 years; SD = 5.95). In this sample HAC was present in 20 patients (87%). Since the prevalence of HAC in a control population of similar age is only 15% these data reveal an almost 6-fold higher prevalence of HAC (X2 = 84.01, p < .0001) in chronic schizophrenia as compared to normal controls. The implications of HAC for the pathophysiology of schizophrenia are discussed in light of the central role of the habenula in the regulation of limbic functions. PMID:1305634

  13. Pineal physiology in microgravity - Relation to rat gonadal function aboard Cosmos 1887

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holley, Daniel C.; Markley, Carol L.; Soliman, Magdi R. I.; Kaddis, Farida; Krasnov, Igor'

    1991-01-01

    Results are reported from an analysis of pineal glands obtained for five male rats flown aboard an orbiting satellite for their melatonin, serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIA), and calcium content. Plasma 5-HT and 5-HIAA were measured. These parameters were compared to indicators of gonadal function: plasma testosterone concentration and spermatogonia development. Plasma melotonin was found to be low at the time of euthanasia and was not different among the experimental groups. Pineal calcium of flight animals was not different from ground controls. Pineal 5-HT and 5-HIAA in the flight group were significantly higher than those in ground controls. These findings suggest a possible increase in pineal 5-HT turnover in flight animals which may result in increased melatonin secretion. It is argued that the alteration of pinal 5-HT turnover and its expected effects on melatonin secretion may partially explain the lower plasma testosterone levels and 4-11 percent fewer spermatogonia cells observed in flight animals.

  14. Pineal calcification in relation to menopause in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R

    1992-01-01

    I have suggested that critical changes in melatonin secretion, as mediated by the pineal gland, may exert a crucial role in the onset and pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Since pineal calcification (PC) is thought to reflect the metabolic and secretory activity of the gland, I investigated in 29 randomly selected chronic institutionalized female schizophrenic patients the association of PC on CT scan with premenopausal (prior to age 40) versus menopausal (ages 40-55) onset of illness. The premenopausal patients were found to show a significantly higher prevalence of PC than the menopausal patients (55.5% vs. 18.1%; X2 = 3.93, df = 1, p < .05). Since PC was unrelated to historical, demographic, and treatment variables, these findings highlight the importance of the pineal gland for the timing of the onset of schizophrenia, particularly in relation to the female reproductive state. The results carry theoretical implications on the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and suggest that the pineal gland may exert a protective effect against its onset. PMID:1305625

  15. Pineal cysts in children.

    PubMed

    Lacroix-Boudhrioua, V; Linglart, A; Ancel, P Y; Falip, C; Bougnères, P F; Adamsbaum, C

    2011-12-01

    OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence and characteristics of pineal cysts found on MRI in children. METHODS: This is a retrospective monocentric study of all brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations performed under the same technical conditions for checking the idiopathic nature of short stature (ISS group, n = 116) and for the investigation of central precocious puberty (CPP) over a 3-year period (n = 56). Dimensions, wall and septal thickness, number of locules, signal intensity, and the presence of a solid component were analysed. Ten of 19 cysts were re-evaluated (follow-up interval 4-28 months). The prevalence of the pineal cysts was compared between the two groups using χ2 and Fisher's exact tests, and a significance threshold of p < 0.05. RESULTS: The prevalence of cysts was comparable in the two groups, CPP (10.7%) and ISS (11.2%). Cyst characteristics were similar in the two groups and 74% had thin septations. None of the cysts changed on follow-up. None of the children with pineal cysts exhibited neurological signs. CONCLUSION: Benign pineal cysts are a common finding in young children. High-resolution MRI demonstrates that these cysts are often septated. This pattern is a normal variant and does not require follow-up MR imaging or IV contrast media. PMID:22347985

  16. The contribution of the pineal gland on daily rhythms and masking in diurnal grass rats, Arvicanthis niloticus.

    PubMed

    Shuboni, Dorela D; Agha, Amna A; Groves, Thomas K H; Gall, Andrew J

    2016-07-01

    Melatonin is a hormone rhythmically secreted at night by the pineal gland in vertebrates. In diurnal mammals, melatonin is present during the inactive phase of the rest/activity cycle, and in primates it directly facilitates sleep and decreases body temperature. However, the role of the pineal gland for the promotion of sleep at night has not yet been studied in non-primate diurnal mammalian species. Here, the authors directly examined the hypothesis that the pineal gland contributes to diurnality in Nile grass rats by decreasing activity and increasing sleep at night, and that this could occur via effects on circadian mechanisms or masking, or both. Removing the pineal gland had no effect on the hourly distribution of activity across a 12:12 light-dark (LD) cycle or on the patterns of sleep-like behavior at night. Masking effects of light at night on activity were also not significantly different in pinealectomized and control grass rats, as 1h pulses of light stimulated increases in activity of sham and pinealectomized animals to a similar extent. In addition, the circadian regulation of activity was unaffected by the surgical condition of the animals. Our results suggest that the pineal gland does not contribute to diurnality in the grass rat, thus highlighting the complexity of temporal niche transitions. The current data raise interesting questions about how and why genetic and neural mechanisms linking melatonin to sleep regulatory systems might vary among mammals that reached a diurnal niche via parallel and independent pathways. PMID:27038859

  17. Vesicular Glutamate Transporter 2 Expression in the Rat Pineal Gland: Detailed Analysis of Expression Pattern and Regulatory Mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Sachine; Hisano, Setsuji

    Melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, is closely related physiologically to circadian rhythm, sleep and reproduction, and also psychiatrically to mood disorders in humans. Under circadian control, melatonin secretion is modulated via nocturnal autonomic (adrenergic) stimulation to the gland, which expresses vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) 1, VGLUT2 and a VGLUT1 splice variant (VGLUT1v), glutamatergic markers. Expression of VGLUT2 gene and protein in the intact gland has been reported to exhibit a rhythmic change during a day. To study VGLUT2 expression is under adrenergic control, we here performed an in vitro experiment using dispersed pineal cells of rats. Stimulation of either β-adrenergic receptor or cAMP production to the pineal cells was shown to increase mRNA level of VGLUT2, but not VGLUT1 and VGLUT1v. Because an ability of glutamate to inhibit melatonin production was previously reported in the cultured gland, it is likely that pineal VGLUT2 transports glutamate engaged in the inhibition of melatonin production.

  18. Three dimensional culture of pineal cell aggregates: a model of cell-cell co-operation.

    PubMed

    Khan, N A; Shacoori, V; Havouis, R; Querné, D; Moulinoux, J P; Rault, B

    1995-05-01

    Three dimensional (3-D) cultures of pineal cell aggregates were obtained by constant gyratory shaking the heterogenous cell populations, obtained from the rat pineals, in the DMEM (Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium). Within 4 days, the pineal cells became organized into a tissue like configuration appearing as a compact ball, evidenced by the scanning electron microscopy. The 3-D aggregates seemed to be mainly composed of pinealocytes (round-oval cells), glial (elongated cells) and other unknown cells. The heterogenous cells were separated by intercellular spaces. The ultrastructural characteristics revealed by transmission electron microscopy exhibited the presence of granular lysosomes, typical of pinealocytes actively involved in the secretion. These pineal cell aggregates secreted melatonin and other indole amines i.e. 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MT), indole acetic acid (IAA), 5-methoxy-3-indole acetic acid (5-MIAA), tryptophol (TOL) and 5-methoxytryptophol (5-MTL) in the culture medium, indicating the functional aspect of pinealocytes. The 3-D aggregates cultures had advantages over the pineal monolayer cultures as, after 4 days of culture, the amounts of indole amines secreted by 3-D aggregates were higher than those secreted by monolayer cultures. Besides, the 3-D aggregates remained functional till 24 days in the gyratory culture conditions. In the continuous perifusion system, the 3-D aggregates secreted melatonin while challanged with isoproterenol. This 3-D model of pineal cell aggregates might be useful, in future, to perform other kinetic studies of the release of indole amines in perifusion experiments as this system allows the maintenance of pineal cells for a long period of time. PMID:7550281

  19. Melatonin and Pancreatic Islets: Interrelationships between Melatonin, Insulin and Glucagon

    PubMed Central

    Peschke, Elmar; Bähr, Ina; Mühlbauer, Eckhard

    2013-01-01

    The pineal hormone melatonin exerts its influence in the periphery through activation of two specific trans-membrane receptors: MT1 and MT2. Both isoforms are expressed in the islet of Langerhans and are involved in the modulation of insulin secretion from β-cells and in glucagon secretion from α-cells. De-synchrony of receptor signaling may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. This notion has recently been supported by genome-wide association studies identifying particularly the MT2 as a risk factor for this rapidly spreading metabolic disturbance. Since melatonin is secreted in a clearly diurnal fashion, it is safe to assume that it also has a diurnal impact on the blood-glucose-regulating function of the islet. This factor has hitherto been underestimated; the disruption of diurnal signaling within the islet may be one of the most important mechanisms leading to metabolic disturbances. The study of melatonin–insulin interactions in diabetic rat models has revealed an inverse relationship: an increase in melatonin levels leads to a down-regulation of insulin secretion and vice versa. Elucidation of the possible inverse interrelationship in man may open new avenues in the therapy of diabetes. PMID:23535335

  20. Quantitative differences in the pineal ultrastructure of perinatal and adult harp (Phoca groenlandica) and hooded seals (Cystophora cristata).

    PubMed

    Aarseth, Jo Jorem; Stokkan, Karl-Arne

    2003-10-01

    Seals are unique among mammals in that newborns have a large pineal gland and extremely high plasma levels of melatonin at birth. Melatonin levels are also high in the seal fetus but decline rapidly during the first few days of life. The aim of the present study was to provide quantitative information about the ultrastructure of the seal pineal gland using fetal, newborn, and adult hooded seals (Cystophora cristata), and newborn and adult harp seals (Phoca groenlandica). The relative and absolute volumes of pinealocytes (Pi), arteries and veins, nerves, connective tissue, capillaries and glial cells, as well as mitocondria and lipid droplets in Pi, were calculated by use of point count analysis. Whereas the pineal ultrastructure was similar in fetuses and newborns, both seal species showed a pronounced and particular reduction in the volume of Pi and a similar reduction in pinealocyte mitochondria. There was also a shift from unmyelinated to myelinated pineal nerves in adults compared with fetal/newborns. The selective and marked reduction of Pi may explain the zonated pineal structure typical of the adult seal. The results demonstrate that the fetal gland is as large and active as that of the newborn seal and support the notion that the large size and high activity of the pineal gland in the newborn seal is a fading consequence of its prenatal condition. PMID:12932203

  1. Signal transduction and regulation of melatonin synthesis in bovine pinealocytes: impact of adrenergic, peptidergic and cholinergic stimuli.

    PubMed

    Schomerus, Christof; Laedtke, Elke; Olcese, James; Weller, Joan L; Klein, David C; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2002-09-01

    Limited studies of the regulation of pineal melatonin biosynthesis in ungulates indicate that it differs considerably from that in rodents. Here we have investigated several signal transduction cascades and their impact on melatonin synthesis in bovine pinealocytes. Norepinephrine increased the intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i) via alpha(1)-adrenergic receptors. Activation of beta-adrenergic receptors enhanced cAMP accumulation and rapidly elevated arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) activity and melatonin secretion. The beta-adrenergically evoked increases in AANAT activity were potentiated by alpha(1)-adrenergic stimulation, but this was not seen with cAMP or melatonin production. PACAP treatment caused small increases in cAMP, AANAT activity and melatonin biosynthesis, apparently in a subpopulation of cells. VIP and glutamate did not influence any of these parameters. Activation of nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors increased [Ca2+]i, but did not alter cAMP levels, AANAT activity or melatonin production. Our study reveals that discrete differences in pineal signal transduction exist between the cow and rodent, and emphasizes the potential importance that the analysis of ungulate pinealocytes may play in understanding regulation of pineal melatonin biosynthesis in primates and man, whose melatonin-generating system appears to be more similar to that in ungulates than to that in rodents. PMID:12195298

  2. TransRapid TR-07 maglev-spectrum magnetic field effects on daily pineal indoleamine metabolic rhythms in rodents

    SciTech Connect

    Groh, K.R.

    1993-06-01

    This study examined the effects on pineal function of magnetic field (MF) exposures (ac and dc components) similar to those produced by the TransRapid TR-07 and other electromagnetic maglev systems (EMS). Rats were entrained to a light-dark cycle and then exposed to a continuous, or to an inverted, intermittent (on = 45 s, off = 15 s, induced current = 267 G/s) simulated multifrequency ac and dc magnetic field (MF) at 1 or 7 times the TR-07 maglev vehicle MF intensity for 2 hr. Other groups of rats were exposed to only the ac or the dc-component of the maglev MF. For comparison, one group was exposed to an inverted, intermittent 60-Hz MF. Each group was compared to an unexposed group of rats for changes in pineal melatonin and serotonin-N-acetyltransferase (NAT). MF exposures at an intensity equivalent to that produced by the TR-07 vehicle had no effect on melatonin or NAT compared with sham-exposed animals under any of the conditions examined. However, 7X TR-07-level continuous 2-h MF exposures significantly depressed pineal NAT by 45%. Pineal melatonin was also depressed 33--43% by a continuous 7X TR-07 MF exposure and 28% by an intermittent 60-Hz 850-mG MF, but the results were not statically significant. This study demonstrates that intermittent, combined ac and dc MFs similar to those produced by the TR-07 EMS maglev vehicle alter the normal circadian rhythm of pineal indoleamine metabolism. The pineal regulatory enzyme NAT was more sensitive to MF exposure than melatonin and may be a more desirable measure of the biological effects of MF exposure.

  3. TransRapid TR-07 maglev-spectrum magnetic field effects on daily pineal indoleamine metabolic rhythms in rodents

    SciTech Connect

    Groh, K.R.

    1993-01-01

    This study examined the effects on pineal function of magnetic field (MF) exposures (ac and dc components) similar to those produced by the TransRapid TR-07 and other electromagnetic maglev systems (EMS). Rats were entrained to a light-dark cycle and then exposed to a continuous, or to an inverted, intermittent (on = 45 s, off = 15 s, induced current = 267 G/s) simulated multifrequency ac and dc magnetic field (MF) at 1 or 7 times the TR-07 maglev vehicle MF intensity for 2 hr. Other groups of rats were exposed to only the ac or the dc-component of the maglev MF. For comparison, one group was exposed to an inverted, intermittent 60-Hz MF. Each group was compared to an unexposed group of rats for changes in pineal melatonin and serotonin-N-acetyltransferase (NAT). MF exposures at an intensity equivalent to that produced by the TR-07 vehicle had no effect on melatonin or NAT compared with sham-exposed animals under any of the conditions examined. However, 7X TR-07-level continuous 2-h MF exposures significantly depressed pineal NAT by 45%. Pineal melatonin was also depressed 33--43% by a continuous 7X TR-07 MF exposure and 28% by an intermittent 60-Hz 850-mG MF, but the results were not statically significant. This study demonstrates that intermittent, combined ac and dc MFs similar to those produced by the TR-07 EMS maglev vehicle alter the normal circadian rhythm of pineal indoleamine metabolism. The pineal regulatory enzyme NAT was more sensitive to MF exposure than melatonin and may be a more desirable measure of the biological effects of MF exposure.

  4. Central Interleukin-1β Suppresses the Nocturnal Secretion of Melatonin.

    PubMed

    Herman, A P; Bochenek, J; Król, K; Krawczyńska, A; Antushevich, H; Pawlina, B; Herman, A; Romanowicz, K; Tomaszewska-Zaremba, D

    2016-01-01

    In vertebrates, numerous processes occur in a rhythmic manner. The hormonal signal reliably reflecting the environmental light conditions is melatonin. Nocturnal melatonin secretion patterns could be disturbed in pathophysiological states, including inflammation, Alzheimer's disease, and depression. All of these states share common elements in their aetiology, including the overexpression of interleukin- (IL-) 1β in the central nervous system. Therefore, the present study was designed to determine the effect of the central injection of exogenous IL-1β on melatonin release and on the expression of the enzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway in the pineal gland of ewe. It was found that intracerebroventricular injections of IL-1β (50 µg/animal) suppressed (P < 0.05) nocturnal melatonin secretion in sheep regardless of the photoperiod. This may have resulted from decreased (P < 0.05) synthesis of the melatonin intermediate serotonin, which may have resulted, at least partially, from a reduced expression of tryptophan hydroxylase. IL-1β also inhibited (P < 0.05) the expression of the melatonin rhythm enzyme arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase. However, the ability of IL-1β to affect the expression of these enzymes was dependent upon the photoperiod. Our study may shed new light on the role of central IL-1β in the aetiology of disruptions in melatonin secretion. PMID:27212805

  5. Melatonin Therapy in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Cardinali, Daniel P.; Vigo, Daniel E.; Olivar, Natividad; Vidal, María F.; Brusco, Luis I.

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a major health problem and a growing recognition exists that efforts to prevent it must be undertaken by both governmental and non-governmental organizations. In this context, the pineal product, melatonin, has a promising significance because of its chronobiotic/cytoprotective properties potentially useful for a number of aspects of AD. One of the features of advancing age is the gradual decrease in circulating melatonin levels. A limited number of therapeutic trials have indicated that melatonin has a therapeutic value as a neuroprotective drug in the treatment of AD and minimal cognitive impairment (which may evolve to AD). Both in vitro and in vivo, melatonin prevented the neurodegeneration seen in experimental models of AD. For these effects to occur, doses of melatonin about two orders of magnitude higher than those required to affect sleep and circadian rhythmicity are needed. More recently, attention has been focused on the development of potent melatonin analogs with prolonged effects, which were employed in clinical trials in sleep-disturbed or depressed patients in doses considerably higher than those employed for melatonin. In view that the relative potencies of the analogs are higher than that of the natural compound, clinical trials employing melatonin in the range of 50–100 mg/day are urgently needed to assess its therapeutic validity in neurodegenerative disorders such as AD. PMID:26784870

  6. Central Interleukin-1β Suppresses the Nocturnal Secretion of Melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Herman, A. P.; Bochenek, J.; Król, K.; Krawczyńska, A.; Antushevich, H.; Pawlina, B.; Herman, A.; Romanowicz, K.; Tomaszewska-Zaremba, D.

    2016-01-01

    In vertebrates, numerous processes occur in a rhythmic manner. The hormonal signal reliably reflecting the environmental light conditions is melatonin. Nocturnal melatonin secretion patterns could be disturbed in pathophysiological states, including inflammation, Alzheimer's disease, and depression. All of these states share common elements in their aetiology, including the overexpression of interleukin- (IL-) 1β in the central nervous system. Therefore, the present study was designed to determine the effect of the central injection of exogenous IL-1β on melatonin release and on the expression of the enzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway in the pineal gland of ewe. It was found that intracerebroventricular injections of IL-1β (50 µg/animal) suppressed (P < 0.05) nocturnal melatonin secretion in sheep regardless of the photoperiod. This may have resulted from decreased (P < 0.05) synthesis of the melatonin intermediate serotonin, which may have resulted, at least partially, from a reduced expression of tryptophan hydroxylase. IL-1β also inhibited (P < 0.05) the expression of the melatonin rhythm enzyme arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase. However, the ability of IL-1β to affect the expression of these enzymes was dependent upon the photoperiod. Our study may shed new light on the role of central IL-1β in the aetiology of disruptions in melatonin secretion. PMID:27212805

  7. Relevance of the chronobiological and non-chronobiological actions of melatonin for enhancing therapeutic efficacy in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Cecon, Erika; Markus, Regina P

    2011-05-01

    Melatonin is an indolamine with a large spectrum of functions that can be divided into chronobiotic and nonchronobiotic. Chronobiotic effects are mediated by the daily rhythm of melatonin in the plasma due to nocturnal pineal synthesis, whereas the melatonin produced by other cells, such as gastrointestinal and immune competent cells, is independent of the light/dark cycle and exert non-chronobiotic effects. The concentrations achieved by the two sources are significantly different, varying in the pM-nM range in the plasma, and may achieve concentrations in the mM range when released locally by activated immune-competent cells. Consequently, the effects of the melatonin produced in these two situations are distinct. Much has been reported about the beneficial response to exogenous melatonin administration in several pathological conditions. However, the relationship between the establishment of a disease and the state of the physiological activity of the pineal gland is still poorly understood. Here, we review the state of art in the modulation of pineal melatonin synthesis, relevant patents, and discuss its relationship with neurodegenerative disorders that involve a central inflammatory response, such as Alzheimer's disease, to suggest the putative relevance of new therapeutic protocols that replace this pineal hormone. PMID:22074584

  8. Effects of melatonin on cardiovascular diseases: progress in the past year

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hang; Gusdon, Aaron M.; Qu, Shen

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of review Melatonin is a neuroendocrine hormone synthesized primarily by the pineal gland. Numerous studies have suggested that melatonin plays an important role in various cardiovascular diseases. In this article, recent progress regarding melatonin's effects on cardiovascular diseases is reviewed. Recent findings In the past year, studies have focused on the mechanism of protection of melatonin on cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, myocardial hypoxia-reoxygenation injury, pulmonary hypertension, hypertension, atherosclerosis, valvular heart diseases, and other cardiovascular diseases. Summary Studies have demonstrated that melatonin has significant effects on ischemia-reperfusion injury, myocardial chronic intermittent hypoxia injury, pulmonary hypertension, hypertension, valvular heart diseases, vascular diseases, and lipid metabolism. As an inexpensive and well tolerated drug, melatonin may be a new therapeutic option for cardiovascular disease. PMID:27075419

  9. Effects of illumination on human nocturnal serum melatonin levels and performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dollins, A. B.; Lynch, H. J.; Wurtman, R. J.; Deng, M. H.; Lieberman, H. R.

    1993-01-01

    In humans, exposure to bright light at night suppresses the normal nocturnal elevation in circulating melatonin. Oral administration of pharmacological doses of melatonin during the day, when melatonin levels are normally minimal, induces fatigue. To examine the relationship between illumination, human pineal function, and behavior, we monitored the overnight serum melatonin profiles and behavioral performance of 24 healthy male subjects. On each of three separate occasions subjects participated in 13.5 h (1630-0800 h) testing sessions. Each subject was assigned to an individually illuminated workstation that was maintained throughout the night at an illumination level of approximately 300, 1500, or 3000 lux. Melatonin levels were significantly diminished by light treatment, F(2, 36) = 12.77, p < 0.001, in a dose-dependent manner. Performance on vigilance, reaction time, and other tasks deteriorated throughout the night, consistent with known circadian variations in these parameters, but independent of ambient light intensity and circulating melatonin levels.

  10. New actions of melatonin and their relevance to biometeorology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    Melatonin is not only produced by the pineal gland, retina and parietal but also by various other tissues and cells from vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi, plants, multicellular algae and by unicells. In plants, many invertebrates and unicells, its concentration often exceeds that found in vertebrate blood by several orders of magnitude. The action of melatonin is highly pleiotropic. It involves firstly, direct effects, via specific binding sites in various peripheral tissues and cells of vertebrates, including immunomodulation; secondly, systemic influences on the cytoskeleton and nitric oxide formation, mediated by calmodulin; and thirdly, antioxidative protection, perhaps also in the context of photoprotection in plants and unicells. In some dinoflagellates, melatonin conveys temperature signals. On the basis of these comparisons, melatonin appears to mediate and modulate influences from several major environmental factors, such as the photoperiod, radiation intensity and temperature.

  11. [Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury and melatonin].

    PubMed

    Sahna, Engin; Deniz, Esra; Aksulu, Hakki Engin

    2006-06-01

    It is believed that myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury is related to increased free radical generated and intracellular calcium overload especially during the period of reperfusion. The pineal secretory product, melatonin, is known to be a potent free radical scavenger, antioxidant and can inhibit the intracellular calcium overload. In this review, we have summarized the fundamental of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury and the effects of melatonin on myocardial damage that related to cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury. The total antioxidant capacity of human serum is related to melatonin levels. Incidence of sudden cardiac death is high in the morning hours. It has been shown that melatonin levels are significantly low at these times and patients with coronary heart disease have lower than normal individuals. These findings thought that melatonin would be valuable to test in clinical trials for prevention of possible ischemia-reperfusion-induced injury, especially life threatening arrhythmias and infarct size, effecting life quality, associated with thrombolysis, angioplasty, coronary artery spasm or coronary bypass surgery. PMID:16766282

  12. Clinical and neurophysiological changes in patients with pineal region expansions.

    PubMed

    Hajnsek, Sanja; Paladino, Josip; Gadze, Zeljka Petelin; Nanković, Sibila; Mrak, Goran; Lupret, Velimir

    2013-03-01

    aqueduct of the midbrain, hemosiderin deposists, as well as secretion disturbances of anticonvulsive agent melatonin can be involved in the pathogenesis of seizures. We suggest to perform high resolution brain MRI with special demonstration of pineal region in all young patients that have seizures and specific EEG changes. PMID:23697248

  13. Melatonin inhibits cholangiocyte hyperplasia in cholestatic rats by interaction with MT1 but not MT2 melatonin receptors.

    PubMed

    Renzi, Anastasia; Glaser, Shannon; Demorrow, Sharon; Mancinelli, Romina; Meng, Fanyin; Franchitto, Antonio; Venter, Julie; White, Mellanie; Francis, Heather; Han, Yuyan; Alvaro, Domenico; Gaudio, Eugenio; Carpino, Guido; Ueno, Yoshiyuki; Onori, Paolo; Alpini, Gianfranco

    2011-10-01

    In bile duct-ligated (BDL) rats, large cholangiocytes proliferate by activation of cAMP-dependent signaling. Melatonin, which is secreted from pineal gland as well as extrapineal tissues, regulates cell mitosis by interacting with melatonin receptors (MT1 and MT2) modulating cAMP and clock genes. In the liver, melatonin suppresses oxidative damage and ameliorates fibrosis. No information exists regarding the role of melatonin in the regulation of biliary hyperplasia. We evaluated the mechanisms of action by which melatonin regulates the growth of cholangiocytes. In normal and BDL rats, we determined the hepatic distribution of MT1, MT2, and the clock genes, CLOCK, BMAL1, CRY1, and PER1. Normal and BDL (immediately after BDL) rats were treated in vivo with melatonin before evaluating 1) serum levels of melatonin, bilirubin, and transaminases; 2) intrahepatic bile duct mass (IBDM) in liver sections; and 3) the expression of MT1 and MT2, clock genes, and PKA phosphorylation. In vitro, large cholangiocytes were stimulated with melatonin in the absence/presence of luzindole (MT1/MT2 antagonist) and 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin (MT2 antagonist) before evaluating cell proliferation, cAMP levels, and PKA phosphorylation. Cholangiocytes express MT1 and MT2, CLOCK, BMAL1, CRY1, and PER1 that were all upregulated following BDL. Administration of melatonin to BDL rats decreased IBDM, serum bilirubin and transaminases levels, the expression of all clock genes, cAMP levels, and PKA phosphorylation in cholangiocytes. In vitro, melatonin decreased the proliferation, cAMP levels, and PKA phosphorylation, decreases that were blocked by luzindole. Melatonin may be important in the management of biliary hyperplasia in human cholangiopathies. PMID:21757639

  14. The Impact of Melatonin in Research.

    PubMed

    Varoni, Elena Maria; Soru, Clelia; Pluchino, Roberta; Intra, Chiara; Iriti, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Citation indexes represent helpful tools for evaluating the impact of articles on research. The aim of this study was to obtain the top-100 ranking of the most cited papers on melatonin, a relevant neurohormone mainly involved in phase-adjusting the biological clock and with certain sleep-promoting capability. An article search was carried out on the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science platform. Numbers of citations, names of authors, journals and their 2014-impact factor, year of publication, and experimental designs of studies were recorded. The ranking of the 100-most cited articles on melatonin research (up to February 2016) revealed a citation range from 1623 to 310. Narrative reviews/expert opinions were the most frequently cited articles, while the main research topics were oxidative stress, sleep physiology, reproduction, circadian rhythms and melatonin receptors. This study represents the first detailed analysis of the 100 top-cited articles published in the field of melatonin research, showing its impact and relevance in the biomedical field. PMID:26907237

  15. Posttranslational regulation of TPH1 is responsible for the nightly surge of 5-HT output in the rat pineal gland

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zheping; Liu, Tiecheng; Chattoraj, Asamanja; Ahmed, Samreen; Wang, Michael M.; Deng, Jie; Sun, Xing; Borjigin, Jimo

    2009-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), a precursor for melatonin production, is produced abundantly in the pineal gland of all vertebrate animals. The synthesis of 5-HT in the pineal gland is rate limited by tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) whose activity displays a twofold increase at night. Earlier studies from our laboratory demonstrate that pineal 5-HT secretion exhibits dynamic circadian rhythms with elevated levels during the early night, and that the increase is controlled by adrenergic signaling at night. In this study, we report that (a) 5-HT total output from the pineal gland and TPH1 protein levels both display diurnal rhythms with a twofold increase at night; (b) stimulation of cAMP signaling elevates 5-HT output in vivo; (c) 5-HT total output and TPH1 protein content in rat pineal gland are both acutely inhibited by light exposure at night. Consistent with these findings, molecular analysis of TPH1 protein revealed that (a) TPH1 is phosphorylated at the serine 58 in vitro and in the night pineal gland; and (b) phosphorylation of TPH1 at this residue is required for cAMP-enhanced TPH1 protein stability. These data support the model that increased nocturnal 5-HT synthesis in the pineal gland is mediated by the phosphorylation of TPH1 at the serine 58, which elevates the TPH1 protein content and activity at night. PMID:18705647

  16. Pinealectomy, melatonin, and courtship behavior in male red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis).

    PubMed

    Mendonça, M T; Tousignant, A J; Crews, D

    1996-01-01

    Activation of courtship behavior in male red-sided garter snakes is independent of androgens. Only exposure to extended periods of low temperature with subsequent warming stimulates courtship in males. The pineal gland is thought to transduce temperature as well as photoperiodic information in reptiles. Therefore, we explored the relationship of the pineal and melatonin to sexual behavior in this species. Pinealectomy of male garter snakes disrupted sexual behavior upon emergence from a 17-week period of low temperature in approximately 60% of treated individuals in each of the 3 years of study. However, 40% of the males were unaffected by the pinealectomy, engaging in vigorous courtship. Administration of exogenous, chronic melatonin did not significantly modulate the effect of pinealectomy. Upon pinealectomy in the autumn (before hibernation), plasma levels of melatonin fell. However, upon emergence from hibernation, melatonin levels in pinealectomized (PINX) and sham-treated (SHAM) animals were equivalent, indicating extrapineal source(s) of melatonin. However, PINX males did not exhibit a diel cycle in melatonin levels upon emergence. Instead, melatonin remained elevated through the subsequent 24-hr period. SHAMs did exhibit a diel cycle. Ten days after emergence, PINX animals either had a disrupted/abnormal melatonin cycle and were non-courters or had a cycle similar to SHAM males and courted. Therefore, a normal diel cycle of melatonin appeared necessary for the proper expression of courtship behavior. These results suggest that the pineal in snakes 1) is part of a complex, multi-oscillator system as it is in birds and lizards and 2) may play a role in maintaining polymorphism in timing of reproductive behavior. PMID:8583209

  17. Melatonin Anticancer Effects: Review

    PubMed Central

    Di Bella, Giuseppe; Mascia, Fabrizio; Gualano, Luciano; Di Bella, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, MLT), the main hormone produced by the pineal gland, not only regulates circadian rhythm, but also has antioxidant, anti-ageing and immunomodulatory properties. MLT plays an important role in blood composition, medullary dynamics, platelet genesis, vessel endothelia, and in platelet aggregation, leukocyte formula regulation and hemoglobin synthesis. Its significant atoxic, apoptotic, oncostatic, angiogenetic, differentiating and antiproliferative properties against all solid and liquid tumors have also been documented. Thanks, in fact, to its considerable functional versatility, MLT can exert both direct and indirect anticancer effects in factorial synergy with other differentiating, antiproliferative, immunomodulating and trophic molecules that form part of the anticancer treatment formulated by Luigi Di Bella (Di Bella Method, DBM: somatostatin, retinoids, ascorbic acid, vitamin D3, prolactin inhibitors, chondroitin-sulfate). The interaction between MLT and the DBM molecules counters the multiple processes that characterize the neoplastic phenotype (induction, promotion, progression and/or dissemination, tumoral mutation). All these particular characteristics suggest the use of MLT in oncological diseases. PMID:23348932

  18. Homeostatic versus circadian effects of melatonin on core body temperature in humans.

    PubMed

    Cagnacci, A; Kräuchi, K; Wirz-Justice, A; Volpe, A

    1997-12-01

    Evidence obtained in animals has suggested a link of the pineal gland and its hormone melatonin with the regulation of core body temperature (CBT). Depending on the species considered, melatonin intervenes in generating seasonal rhythms of daily torpor and hibernation, in heat stress tolerance, and in setting the CBT set point. In humans, the circadian rhythms of melatonin is strictly associated with that of CBT, the nocturnal decline of CBT being inversely related to the rise of melatonin. Whereas there is inconsistent evidence for the suggestion that the decline of CBT may prompt the release of melatonin, conversely, stringent data indicate that melatonin decreases CBT. Administration of melatonin during the day, when it is not normally secreted, decreases CBT by about 0.3 to 0.4 degree C, and suppression of melatonin at night enhances CBT by about the same magnitude. Accordingly, the nocturnal rise of melatonin contributes to the circadian amplitude of CBT. The mechanisms through which melatonin decreases CBT are unclear. It is known that melatonin enhances heat loss, but a reduction of heat production cannot be excluded. Besides actions on peripheral vessels aimed to favor heat loss, it is likely that the effect of melatonin to reduce CBT is exerted mainly in the hypothalamus, where thermoregulatory centers are located. Recent observations have shown that the acute thermoregulatory effects induced by melatonin and bright light are independent of their circadian phase-shifting effects. The effect of melatonin ultimately brings a saving of energy and is reduced in at least two physiological situations: aging and the luteal menstrual phase. In both conditions, melatonin does not exert its CBT-lowering effects. Whereas in older women this effect may represent an age-related alteration, in the luteal phase this modification may represent a mechanism of keeping CBT higher at night to promote a better embryo implantation and survival. PMID:9406024

  19. The effect of the melatonin on cryopreserved mouse testicular cells

    PubMed Central

    Saki, Ghasem; Mirhoseini, Mehri; Hemadi, Masoud; Khodadadi, Ali; Beygom Talebpour Amiri, Fereshteh

    2016-01-01

    Background: After improvements in various cancer treatments, life expectancy has been raised, but success in treatment causes loss of fertility in many of the survived young men. Cryopreservation of immature testicular tissues or cells introduced as the only way to preserve fertility. However, freezing has some harmful effects. Melatonin, a pineal gland hormone, has receptors in reproductive systems of different species. It is assumed that melatonin has free radical scavenger properties. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of melatonin on the cryopreserved testicular cells in mouse. Materials and Methods: Cells from 7- 10 days old NMRI mice testes were isolated using two step enzymatic digestion. The testicular cells were divided into two groups randomly and cryopreserved in two different freezing media with and without the addition of 100 µm melatonin. Finally, apoptosis of the cells was assayed by flow cytometry. Also, lactate dehydrogenase activity test was performed to assess the cytotoxicity. Results: The results of lactate dehydrogenase showed the nearly cytotoxic effect of melatonin. The results of flow cytometry showed increase in apoptosis in the cryopreserved cells in the media containing melatonin compared to the control group. Conclusion: The present study shows that melatonin has an apoptotic effect on cryopreserved mouse testicular cells. PMID:27141545

  20. Advances in the Research of Melatonin in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Literature Review and New Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Tordjman, Sylvie; Najjar, Imen; Bellissant, Eric; Anderson, George M.; Barburoth, Marianne; Cohen, David; Jaafari, Nemat; Schischmanoff, Olivier; Fagard, Rémi; Lagdas, Enas; Kermarrec, Solenn; Ribardiere, Sophie; Botbol, Michel; Fougerou, Claire; Bronsard, Guillaume; Vernay-Leconte, Julie

    2013-01-01

    Abnormalities in melatonin physiology may be involved or closely linked to the pathophysiology and behavioral expression of autistic disorder, given its role in neurodevelopment and reports of sleep-wake rhythm disturbances, decreased nocturnal melatonin production, and beneficial therapeutic effects of melatonin in individuals with autism. In addition, melatonin, as a pineal gland hormone produced from serotonin, is of special interest in autistic disorder given reported alterations in central and peripheral serotonin neurobiology. More specifically, the role of melatonin in the ontogenetic establishment of circadian rhythms and the synchronization of peripheral oscillators opens interesting perspectives to ascertain better the mechanisms underlying the significant relationship found between lower nocturnal melatonin excretion and increased severity of autistic social communication impairments, especially for verbal communication and social imitative play. In this article, first we review the studies on melatonin levels and the treatment studies of melatonin in autistic disorder. Then, we discuss the relationships between melatonin and autistic behavioral impairments with regard to social communication (verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction), and repetitive behaviors or interests with difficulties adapting to change. In conclusion, we emphasize that randomized clinical trials in autism spectrum disorders are warranted to establish potential therapeutic efficacy of melatonin for social communication impairments and stereotyped behaviors or interests. PMID:24129182

  1. Beneficial effects of melatonin in a rat model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Rudnitskaya, Ekaterina A; Maksimova, Kseniya Yi; Muraleva, Natalia A; Logvinov, Sergey V; Yanshole, Lyudmila V; Kolosova, Nataliya G; Stefanova, Natalia A

    2015-06-01

    Melatonin synthesis is disordered in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To determine the role of melatonin in the pathogenesis of AD, suitable animal models are needed. The OXYS rats are an experimental model of accelerated senescence that has also been proposed as a spontaneous rat model of AD-like pathology. In the present study, we demonstrate that disturbances in melatonin secretion occur in OXYS rats at 4 months of age. These disturbances occur simultaneously with manifestation of behavioral abnormalities against the background of neurodegeneration and alterations in hormonal status but before the signs of amyloid-β accumulation. We examined whether oral administration of melatonin could normalize the melatonin secretion and have beneficial effects on OXYS rats before progression to AD-like pathology. The results showed that melatonin treatment restored melatonin secretion in the pineal gland of OXYS rats as well as the serum levels of growth hormone and IGF-1, the level of BDNF in the hippocampus and the healthy state of hippocampal neurons. Additionally, melatonin treatment of OXYS rats prevented an increase in anxiety and the decline of locomotor activity, of exploratory activity, and of reference memory. Thus, melatonin may be involved in AD progression, whereas oral administration of melatonin could be a prophylactic strategy to prevent or slow down the progression of some features of AD pathology. PMID:25515660

  2. Molecular Basis for Defining the Pineal Gland and Pinealocytes as Targets for Tumor Necrosis Factor

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho-Sousa, Claudia Emanuele; da Silveira Cruz-Machado, Sanseray; Tamura, Eduardo Koji; Fernandes, Pedro A. C. M.; Pinato, Luciana; Muxel, Sandra M.; Cecon, Erika; Markus, Regina P.

    2011-01-01

    The pineal gland, the gland that translates darkness into an endocrine signal by releasing melatonin at night, is now considered a key player in the mounting of an innate immune response. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), the first pro-inflammatory cytokine to be released by an inflammatory response, suppresses the translation of the key enzyme of melatonin synthesis (arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase, Aanat). Here, we show that TNF receptors of the subtype 1 (TNF-R1) are expressed by astrocytes, microglia, and pinealocytes. We also show that the TNF signaling reduces the level of inhibitory nuclear factor kappa B protein subtype A (NFKBIA), leading to the nuclear translocation of two NFKB dimers, p50/p50, and p50/RelA. The lack of a transactivating domain in the p50/p50 dimer suggests that this dimer is responsible for the repression of Aanat transcription. Meanwhile, p50/RelA promotes the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and the production of nitric oxide, which inhibits adrenergically induced melatonin production. Together, these data provide a mechanistic basis for considering pinealocytes a target of TNF and reinforce the idea that the suppression of pineal melatonin is one of the mechanisms involved in mounting an innate immune response. PMID:22654792

  3. [Cellular aspects of aging in the pineal gland of the shrew, Crocidura russula].

    PubMed

    Dekar-Madoui, Aicha; Besseau, Laurence; Magnanou, Elodie; Fons, Roger; Ouali, Saliha; Bendjelloul, Mounira; Falcon, Jack

    2012-01-01

    The Greater White-toothed shrew Crocidura russula is short-lived species and the phase of senescence is greatly elongated in captivity. The loss of rhythmicity of biological functions that accompanies its aging is also well documented. C. russula is thus an excellent model to test the effects of aging on biological clocks. Melatonin is a key hormone in the synchronization of behaviors, metabolisms and physiological regulations with environmental factors. In the present work we want to know if the loss of rhythmicity and the reduced melatonin levels registered by the second year of life in this species could be associated to modified ultrastructural features of the pineal parenchyma, site of melatonin synthesis. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of young (1-4 months) and old (25-28 months) shrew's pineals show that in older individuals, the parenchyma undergoes alterations affecting mainly nucleus, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum cisternae, with increased numbers of dense bodies and the formation of many concretions as well as a depletion of secretory products. These changes suggest a process of slowing pinealocytes metabolism which could explain the gradual reduction of melatonin levels registered during aging in C. russula. PMID:22226159

  4. The seasonal reproductive cycle of a marsupial, Antechinus stuartii: effects of oral administration of melatonin.

    PubMed

    McAllan, B M; Westman, W; Joss, J M P

    2002-08-01

    Antechinus stuartii is a small marsupial with a brief, highly synchronised mating period believed to be controlled by the rate of change of photoperiod. Two experiments were performed to explore aspects of photoperiodic control of the seasonal cycle. In the first experiment the pineal hormone, melatonin, administered in the drinking water from the winter solstice, changed the normal response of A. stuartii to increasing rate of change of photoperiod. Melatonin administration shifted the induction of estrus in the females from the first week of August (controls) to an earlier time of mid-July and the consequent pouch changes associated with pregnancy and pseudo-pregnancy were also shifted by the same length of time. Post-mating decline and consequent death of males were also accelerated. In the second experiment melatonin was administered from the autumnal equinox, and this experimental protocol resulted in a desynchronisation of reproductive events. Melatonin administration desynchronised the female reproductive cycle, such that the mating period was extended to eight weeks, instead of the two weeks displayed by control females. Pouch changes and birth of young reflected this desynchronisation. Melatonin administration in males resulted in desynchronisation of reproductive parameters. While the normal yearly reproductive cycle was approximated in these males, the high syncronisation of reproductive maturation and male mortality events observed in control males, was not evident in melatonin-treated males. These results indicate that the pineal gland by way of the hormone melatonin is important in the synchronisation of the unusual life history of this marsupial mammal. PMID:12270791

  5. Lymphopoiesis in the chicken pineal gland

    SciTech Connect

    Cogburn, L.A.; Glick, B.

    1981-10-01

    Pineal lymphoid development was studied in two breeds of chickens from hatching until sexual maturity. No lymphocytes were found in the pineal prior to 9 days of age (da). Lymphocytes migrate through the endothelium of venules into the pineal stroma. Lymphoid tissue reached its maximal accumulation in 32-da pineal glands of both breeds. At this age, the New Hampshire (NH) breed had a larger proportion of lymphoid volume to total pineal volume (32%) than did pineal glands from White Leghorn (WL) chickens (18%).

  6. Comparative histology of pineal calcification.

    PubMed

    Vígh, B; Szél, A; Debreceni, K; Fejér, Z; Manzano e Silva, M J; Vígh-Teichmann, I

    1998-07-01

    The pineal organ (pineal gland, epiphysis cerebri) contains several calcified concretions called "brain sand" or acervuli (corpora arenacea). These concretions are conspicuous with imaging techniques and provide a useful landmark for orientation in the diagnosis of intracranial diseases. Predominantly composed of calcium and magnesium salts, corpora arenacea are numerous in old patients. In smaller number they can be present in children as well. The degree of calcification was associated to various diseases. However, the presence of calcified concretions seems not to reflect a specific pathological state. Corpora arenacea occur not only in the actual pineal tissue but also in the leptomeninges, in the habenular commissure and in the choroid plexus. Studies with the potassium pyroantimonate (PPA) method on the ultrastructural localization of free calcium ions in the human pineal, revealed the presence of calcium alongside the cell membranes, a finding that underlines the importance of membrane functions in the production of calcium deposits. Intrapineal corpora arenacea are characterized by a surface with globular structures. Meningeal acervuli that are present in the arachnoid cover of the organ, differ in structure from intrapineal ones and show a prominent concentric lamination of alternating dark and light lines. The electron-lucent lines contain more calcium than the dark ones. There is a correlation between the age of the subject and the number of layers in the largest acervuli. This suggests that the formation of these layers is connected to circannual changes in the calcium level of the organ. The histological organization of the human pineal is basically the same as that of mammalian experimental animals. Pineal concretions present in mammalian animal species are mainly of the meningeal type. Meningeal cells around acervuli contain active cytoplasmic organelles and exhibit alkaline phosphatase reaction in the rat and mink, an indication of a presumable

  7. Multiple sclerosis: the role of the pineal gland in its timing of onset and risk of psychiatric illness.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Awerbuch, G I

    1993-09-01

    The incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) is age-dependent being rare prior to age 10, unusual prior to age 15, with a peak in the mid 20s. It has been suggested, therefore, that the clinical manifestation of MS is dependent upon having passed the pubertal period. Since pineal melatonin secretion declines from childhood to puberty and as melatonin is an immunomodulator, we have proposed that the dramatic decline in melatonin secretion just prior to the onset of the physical manifestations of puberty may disrupt immune responses resulting in either reactivation of the infective agent or in an increased susceptibility to post-pubertal infection. The fall in melatonin secretion during pre-puberty may also increase the susceptibility of these patients to affective disorder which is associated with lower melatonin secretion and the presence of a phase-advance of their biological rhythms. We predicted, therefore, a higher incidence of affective disorder in patients with pubertal or post-pubertal onset of MS compared to those in whom the disease manifested later. To test this hypothesis, we studied the incidence of affective disorder in relation to age of onset of first neurological symptoms in 31 MS patients, 6 of whom manifested symptoms of MS prior to age 18 (mean = 16.8 years). All patients with pubertal onset MS and only 48% of the control group had an affective disorder. The pubertal onset patients also had a significantly lower nocturnal melatonin levels and a lower incidence of pineal calcification on CT scan. These findings thus support the hypothesis implicating the pineal gland in the timing of onset of MS and in the risk for the development of affective disorder. PMID:8225803

  8. A 15-minute light pulse during darkness prevents the antigonadotrophic action of afternoon melatonin injections in male hamsters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiter, R. J.; Hurlbut, E. C.; King, T. S.; Richardson, B. A.; Vaughan, M. K.; Kosub, K. Y.

    1982-12-01

    When adult male Syrian hamsters were maintained under 14 h light and 10 h darkness daily (lights on from 0600-2000 h), peak pineal melatonin levels (705 pg/gland) were attained at 0500 h. When the dark phase of the light:dark cycle was interrupted with a 15 min pulse of light from 2300 2315 h (3 h after lights out), the highest melatonin levels achieved was roughly 400 pg/gland. Finally, if the 15 min pulse of light was given at 0200 0215 h (6 h after lights out) the nocturnal rise in pineal melatonin was completely abolished. Having made these observations, a second experiment was designed to determine the ability of afternoon melatonin injections to inhibit reproduction in hamsters kept under an uninterrupted 14∶10 cycle or under the same lighting regimen where the dark phase was interrupted with a 15 min pulse of light (0200 0215 h). In the uninterrupted light:dark schedule the daily afternoon injection of 25 μg melatonin caused the testes and the accessory sex organs to atrophy within 11 weeks. Conversely, if the dark phase was interrupted with light between 0200 0215 h, afternoon melatonin injections were incapable of inhibiting the growth of the reproductive organs. The findings suggest that exogenously administered melatonin normally synergizes with endogenously produced melatonin to cause gonadal involution in hamsters.

  9. MT1 and MT2 Melatonin Receptors: A Therapeutic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiabei; Clough, Shannon J; Hutchinson, Anthony J; Adamah-Biassi, Ekue B; Popovska-Gorevski, Marina; Dubocovich, Margarita L

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin, or 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine, is synthesized and released by the pineal gland and locally in the retina following a circadian rhythm, with low levels during the day and elevated levels at night. Melatonin activates two high-affinity G protein-coupled receptors, termed MT1 and MT2, to exert beneficial actions in sleep and circadian abnormality, mood disorders, learning and memory, neuroprotection, drug abuse, and cancer. Progress in understanding the role of melatonin receptors in the modulation of sleep and circadian rhythms has led to the discovery of a novel class of melatonin agonists for treating insomnia, circadian rhythms, mood disorders, and cancer. This review describes the pharmacological properties of a slow-release melatonin preparation (i.e., Circadin®) and synthetic ligands (i.e., agomelatine, ramelteon, tasimelteon), with emphasis on identifying specific therapeutic effects mediated through MT1 and MT2 receptor activation. Discovery of selective ligands targeting the MT1 or the MT2 melatonin receptors may promote the development of novel and more efficacious therapeutic agents. PMID:26514204

  10. Effect of melatonin on kidney cold ischemic preservation injury

    PubMed Central

    Aslaner, Arif; Gunal, Omer; Turgut, Hamdi Taner; Celik, Erdal; Yildirim, Umran; Demirci, Rojbin Karakoyun; Gunduz, Umut Riza; Calis, Hasan; Dogan, Sami

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin is a potent free radical scavenger of reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide synthase inhibitor and a well-known antioxidant secreted from pineal gland. This hormone has been reported to protect tissue from oxidative damage. In this study, we aim to investigate the effect of melatonin on kidney cold ischemia time when added to preservation solution. Thirty male Wistar albino rats were divided equally into three groups; Ringer Lactate (RL) solution, University of Wisconsin (UW) solution with and without melatonin. The serum Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) activities of the preservation solutions at 2nd, 24th, 36th, and 48th hours were determined. Tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were also measured and a histological examination was performed at 48th hour. Melatonin that added to preservation solution prevented enzyme elevation and decreased lipid peroxidation in preservation solution when compared to the control group (p<0.05). The histological examination revealed that UW solution containing melatonin significantly prevented the kidney from pathological injury (p<0.05). Melatonin added to preservation solutions such as UW solution seemed to protect the tissue preserved effectively from cold ischemic injury for up to 48 hour. PMID:24179573

  11. The role of melatonin and serotonin in aging: update.

    PubMed

    Grad, B R; Rozencwaig, R

    1993-01-01

    It has been proposed that aging occurs because of a failure of the pineal gland to produce melatonin from serotonin each day beginning at sunset and throughout the night. This lack leads to a nighttime deficiency of melatonin both absolutely and also relatively to serotonin. As melatonin has wide-spread integrative and regenerative effects, its lack may lead to disturbances normally associated with aging. The present paper reviews the pertinent literature which appeared since our first publication, but earlier articles are also included. Evidence is presented for a role of melatonin and serotonin in controlling the neuroendocrine and immune networks and in inhibiting the development of ischemic heart and Alzheimer's disease, tumor formation and other degenerative processes associated with aging. The possible role of melatonin in the favourable effects of dietary restriction on aging is also discussed. This paper provides additional evidence that a melatonin deficiency, especially in relation to serotonin, may be responsible for the promotion of aging in the organism. PMID:8292130

  12. Melatonin directly interacts with cholesterol and alleviates cholesterol effects in dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine monolayers.

    PubMed

    Choi, Youngjik; Attwood, Simon J; Hoopes, Matthew I; Drolle, Elizabeth; Karttunen, Mikko; Leonenko, Zoya

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin is a pineal hormone that has been shown to have protective effects in several diseases that are associated with cholesterol dysregulation, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and certain types of cancers. Cholesterol is a major membrane constituent with both a structural and functional influence. It is also known that melatonin readily partitions into cellular membranes. We investigated the effects of melatonin and cholesterol on the structure and physical properties of a 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) monolayer as a simple membrane model using the Langmuir-Blodgett (L-B) monolayer technique and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We report that melatonin increases the area per lipid and elastic compressibility of the DPPC monolayer in a concentration dependent manner, while cholesterol has the opposite effect. When both melatonin and cholesterol were present in the monolayer, the compression isotherms showed normalization of the area per molecule towards that of the pure DPPC monolayer, thus indicating that melatonin counteracts and alleviates cholesterol's effects. Atomistic MD simulations of melatonin enriched DPPC systems correlate with our experimental findings and illustrate the structural effects of both cholesterol and melatonin. Our results suggest that melatonin is able to lessen the influence of cholesterol through two different mechanisms. Firstly, we have shown that melatonin has a fluidizing effect on monolayers comprising only lipid molecules. Secondly, we also observe that melatonin interacts directly with cholesterol. Our findings suggest a direct nonspecific interaction of melatonin may be a mechanism involved in reducing cholesterol associated membrane effects, thus suggesting the existence of a new mechanism of melatonin's action. This may have important biological relevance in addition to the well-known anti-oxidative and receptor binding effects. PMID:24651707

  13. Melatonin protects skin keratinocyte from hydrogen peroxide-mediated cell death via the SIRT1 pathway.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ju-Hee; Moon, Ji-Hong; Nazim, Uddin Md; Lee, You-Jin; Seol, Jae-Won; Eo, Seong-Kug; Lee, John-Hwa; Park, Sang-Youel

    2016-03-15

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine), which is primarily synthesized in and secreted from the pineal gland, plays a pivotal role in cell proliferation as well as in the regulation of cell metastasis and cell survival in a diverse range of cells. The aim of this study is to investigate protection effect of melatonin on H2O2-induced cell damage and the mechanisms of melatonin in human keratinocytes. Hydrogen peroxide dose-dependently induced cell damages in human keratinocytes and co-treatment of melatonin protected the keratinocytes against H2O2-induced cell damage. Melatonin treatment activated the autophagy flux signals, which were identified by the decreased levels of p62 protein. Inhibition of autophagy flux via an autophagy inhibitor and ATG5 siRNA technique blocked the protective effects of melatonin against H2O2-induced cell death in human keratinocytes. And we found the inhibition of sirt1 using sirtinol and sirt1 siRNA reversed the protective effects of melatonin and induces the autophagy process in H2O2-treated cells. This is the first report demonstrating that autophagy flux activated by melatonin protects human keratinocytes through sirt1 pathway against hydrogen peroxide-induced damages. And this study also suggest that melatonin could potentially be utilized as a therapeutic agent in skin disease. PMID:26918354

  14. Melatonin protects skin keratinocyte from hydrogen peroxide-mediated cell death via the SIRT1 pathway

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ju-Hee; Moon, Ji-Hong; Nazim, Uddin MD.; Lee, You-Jin; Seol, Jae-Won; Eo, Seong-Kug; Lee, John-Hwa; Park, Sang-Youel

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine), which is primarily synthesized in and secreted from the pineal gland, plays a pivotal role in cell proliferation as well as in the regulation of cell metastasis and cell survival in a diverse range of cells. The aim of this study is to investigate protection effect of melatonin on H2O2-induced cell damage and the mechanisms of melatonin in human keratinocytes. Hydrogen peroxide dose-dependently induced cell damages in human keratinocytes and co-treatment of melatonin protected the keratinocytes against H2O2-induced cell damage. Melatonin treatment activated the autophagy flux signals, which were identified by the decreased levels of p62 protein. Inhibition of autophagy flux via an autophagy inhibitor and ATG5 siRNA technique blocked the protective effects of melatonin against H2O2-induced cell death in human keratinocytes. And we found the inhibition of sirt1 using sirtinol and sirt1 siRNA reversed the protective effects of melatonin and induces the autophagy process in H2O2-treated cells. This is the first report demonstrating that autophagy flux activated by melatonin protects human keratinocytes through sirt1 pathway against hydrogen peroxide-induced damages. And this study also suggest that melatonin could potentially be utilized as a therapeutic agent in skin disease. PMID:26918354

  15. A melatonin-independent seasonal timer induces neuroendocrine refractoriness to short day lengths.

    PubMed

    Butler, Matthew P; Turner, Kevin W; Zucker, Irving

    2008-06-01

    The duration of nocturnal pineal melatonin secretion transduces effects of day length (DL) on the neuroendocrine axis of photoperiodic rodents. Long DLs support reproduction, and short DLs induce testicular regression, followed several months later by spontaneous recrudescence; gonadal regrowth is thought to reflect development of tissue refractoriness to melatonin. In most photoperiodic species, pinealectomy does not diminish reproductive competence in long DLs. Turkish hamsters (Mesocricetus brandti) deviate from this norm: elimination of melatonin secretion in long-day males by pinealectomy or constant light treatment induces testicular regression and subsequently recrudescence; the time course of these gonadal transitions is similar to that observed in males transferred from long to short DLs. In the present study, long-day Turkish hamsters that underwent testicular regression and recrudescence in constant light subsequently were completely unresponsive to the antigonadal effects of short DLs. Other hamsters that manifested testicular regression and recrudescence in short DLs were unresponsive to the antigonadal effects of pinealectomy or constant light. Long-term suppression of melatonin secretion induces a physiological state in Turkish hamsters similar or identical to the neuroendocrine refractoriness produced by short-day melatonin signals (i.e., neural refractoriness to melatonin develops in the absence of circulating melatonin secretion). A melatonin-independent interval timer, which would remain operative in the absence of melatonin during hibernation, may determine the onset of testicular recrudescence in the spring. In this respect, Turkish hamsters differ from most other photoperiodic rodents. PMID:18487416

  16. Nocturnal melatonin secretion in multiple sclerosis patients with affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Awerbuch, G I

    1993-02-01

    The pineal gland has been implicated recently in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic demyelinating disease of CNS. Since nocturnal melatonin secretion is low in some groups of patients with mental depression, we predicted lower melatonin secretion in MS patients with history of affective illness compared to those without psychiatric disorders. To test this hypothesis, we studied single nocturnal plasma melatonin levels and the incidence of pineal calcification (PC) on CT scan in a cohort of 25 MS patients (4 men, 21 women; mean age = 39.4 years, SD = 9.3), 15 of whom had a history of coexisting psychiatric disorders with predominant affective symptomatology. Other factors that may be related to depression such as vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, magnesium, and homocysteine, were also included in the analysis. Neither any of the metabolic factors surveyed nor the incidence of PC distinguished the psychiatric from the control group. However, the mean melatonin level in the psychiatric patients was significantly lower than in the control group. Since low melatonin secretion in patients with depression may be related to a phase-advance of the circadian oscillator regulating the offset of melatonin secretion, we propose that the depression of MS likewise may reflect the presence of dampened circadian oscillators. Furthermore, since exacerbation of motor symptoms in MS patients may be temporally related to worsening of depression, we propose that circadian phase lability may also underlie the relapsing-remitting course of the disease. Consequently, pharmacological agents such as lithium or bright light therapy, which have been shown to phase-delay circadian rhythms, might be effective in the treatment of affective symptoms in MS as well as preventing motor exacerbation and hastening a remission from an acute attack. PMID:8063528

  17. Does supplementation of in-vitro culture medium with melatonin improve IVF outcome in PCOS?

    PubMed

    Kim, Mi Kyoung; Park, Eun A; Kim, Hyung Joon; Choi, Won Yun; Cho, Jung Hyun; Lee, Woo Sik; Cha, Kwang Yul; Kim, You Shin; Lee, Dong Ryul; Yoon, Tae Ki

    2013-01-01

    Human pre-ovulatory follicular fluid (FF) contains a higher concentration of melatonin than serum. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of melatonin supplementation of culture medium on the clinical outcomes of an in-vitro maturation (IVM) IVF-embryo transfer programme for patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Melatonin concentrations in the culture media of granulosa cells (GC) or cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COC) were measured and the clinical outcomes after using IVM media with or without melatonin were analysed. In the culture media of GC or COC, melatonin concentrations gradually increased. When human chorionic gonadotrophin priming protocols were used, implantation rates in the melatonin-supplemented group were higher than those of the non-supplemented control group (P<0.05). Pregnancy rates were also higher, although not significantly. The findings suggest that the addition of melatonin to IVM media may improve the cytoplasmic maturation of human immature oocytes and subsequent clinical outcomes. It is speculated that follicular melatonin may be released from luteinizing GC during late folliculogenesis and that melatonin supplementation may be used to improve the clinical outcomes of IVM IVF-embryo transfer. Melatonin is primarily produced by the pineal gland and regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. Interestingly, human pre-ovulatory follicular fluid contains a higher concentration of melatonin than serum. However, in contrast to animal studies, the direct role of melatonin on oocyte maturation in the human system has not yet been investigated. So, the aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of melatonin supplementation of culture medium on the clinical outcome of an in-vitro maturation (IVM) IVF-embryo transfer programme for PCOS patients. The melatonin concentrations in culture medium of granulosa cells (GC) or cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COC) were measured and

  18. Pineal lesions: a multidisciplinary challenge.

    PubMed

    Westphal, Manfred; Emami, Pedram

    2015-01-01

    The pineal region is a complex anatomical compartment, harbouring the pineal gland surrounded by the quadrigeminal plate and the confluents of the internal cerebral veins to form the vein of Galen. The complexity of lesions in that region, however, goes far beyond the pineal parenchyma proper. Originating in the pineal gland, there are not only benign cysts but also numerous different tumour types. In addition, lesions such as tectal gliomas, tentorial meningiomas and choroid plexus papillomas arise from the surrounding structures, occupying that regions. Furthermore, the area has an affinity for metastatic lesions. Vascular lesions complete the spectrum mainly as small tectal arteriovenous malformations or cavernous haemangiomas.Taken together, there is a wide spectrum of lesions, many unique to that region, which call for a multidisciplinary approach. The limited access and anatomical complexity have generated a spectrum of anatomical approaches and raised the interest for neuroendoscopic approaches. Equally complex is the spectrum of treatment modalities such as microsurgery as the main option but stereotactic radiosurgery as an alternative or adjuvant to surgery for selected cases, radiation as for germinoma (see below) and or combinatorial chemotherapy, which may need to precede any other ablative technique as constituents.In this context, we review the current literature and our own series to obtain a snapshot sentiment of how to approach pineal lesions, how to interrelate alternative/competing concepts and review the recent technological advances. PMID:25411146

  19. Circadian rhythms in the pineal organ persist in zebrafish larvae that lack ventral brain

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), located in the ventral hypothalamus, is a major regulator of circadian rhythms in mammals and birds. However, the role of the SCN in lower vertebrates remains poorly understood. Zebrafish cyclops (cyc) mutants lack ventral brain, including the region that gives rise to the SCN. We have used cyc embryos to define the function of the zebrafish SCN in regulating circadian rhythms in the developing pineal organ. The pineal organ is the major source of the circadian hormone melatonin, which regulates rhythms such as daily rest/activity cycles. Mammalian pineal rhythms are controlled almost exclusively by the SCN. In zebrafish and many other lower vertebrates, the pineal has an endogenous clock that is responsible in part for cyclic melatonin biosynthesis and gene expression. Results We find that pineal rhythms are present in cyc mutants despite the absence of an SCN. The arginine vasopressin-like protein (Avpl, formerly called Vasotocin) is a peptide hormone expressed in and around the SCN. We find avpl mRNA is absent in cyc mutants, supporting previous work suggesting the SCN is missing. In contrast, expression of the putative circadian clock genes, cryptochrome 1b (cry1b) and cryptochrome 3 (cry3), in the brain of the developing fish is unaltered. Expression of two pineal rhythmic genes, exo-rhodopsin (exorh) and serotonin-N-acetyltransferase (aanat2), involved in photoreception and melatonin synthesis, respectively, is also similar between cyc embryos and their wildtype (WT) siblings. The timing of the peaks and troughs of expression are the same, although the amplitude of expression is slightly decreased in the mutants. Cyclic gene expression persists for two days in cyc embryos transferred to constant light or constant dark, suggesting a circadian clock is driving the rhythms. However, the amplitude of rhythms in cyc mutants kept in constant conditions decreased more quickly than in their WT siblings

  20. Expression and regulation of Icer mRNA in the Syrian hamster pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Elena; Garidou, Marie-Laure; Dardente, Hugues; Salingre, Anthony; Pévet, Paul; Simonneaux, Valérie

    2003-04-10

    Inducible-cAMP early repressor (ICER) is a potent inhibitor of CRE (cAMP-related element)-driven gene transcription. In the rat pineal gland, it has been proposed to be part of the mechanisms involved in the shutting down of the transcription of the gene coding for arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT, the melatonin rhythm-generating enzyme). In this study, we report that ICER is expressed in the pineal gland of the photoperiodic rodent Syrian hamster although with some difference compared to the rat. In the Syrian hamster pineal, Icer mRNA levels, low at daytime, displayed a 20-fold increase during the night. Nighttime administration of a beta-adrenergic antagonist, propranolol, significantly reduced Icer mRNA levels although daytime administration of a beta-adrenergic agonist, isoproterenol, was unable to raise the low amount of Icer mRNA. These observations indicate that Icer mRNA expression is induced by the clock-driven norepinephrine release and further suggest that this stimulation is restricted to nighttime, as already observed for Aa-nat gene transcription. Furthermore, we found that the daily profile of Icer mRNA displayed photoperiodic variation with a lengthening of the nocturnal peak in short versus long photoperiod. These data indicate that ICER may be involved in both daily and seasonal regulation of melatonin synthesis in the Syrian hamster. PMID:12670714

  1. Tumors of the pineal region.

    PubMed

    Piovan, E; Beltramello, A

    1996-01-01

    The role played by neuroradiologic examinations in the diagnosis of neoformations of the pineal region is considered. Results of reports of literature are compared with the personal experience (40 patients) to draw possible significant conclusions for the diagnosis of the oncological type. First, intrinsic pineal lesions should be separated from those of adjacent structures. Reliable discriminating parameters useful in the differential diagnosis are represented by sex and age. Diagnosis based on biochemistry with markers was shown not to be univocal. A further separation can be based on CT and MRI findings. In particular, teratomas appear as solid tumors with calcification and fat. The latter is depicted on MRI even if minimal. To the contrary, germinomas do not contain fat and are markedly enhancing. Microcysts seem to be more common in tumors originating from parenchymal pineal cells. A reliable differential diagnosis is however possible only for small-sized lesions where identification of the anatomical structure of origin is easier. PMID:8677341

  2. Prospective Study on Salivary Evening Melatonin and Sleep before and after Pinealectomy in Humans.

    PubMed

    Slawik, Helen; Stoffel, Michael; Riedl, Lina; Veselý, Zdenko; Behr, Michael; Lehmberg, Jens; Pohl, Corina; Meyer, Bernhard; Wiegand, Michael; Krieg, Sandro M

    2016-02-01

    Melatonin is secreted systemically from the pineal gland maximally at night but is also produced locally in many tissues. Its chronobiological function is mainly exerted by pineal melatonin. It is a feedback regulator of the main circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei and of many peripheral oscillators. Although exogenous melatonin is approved for circadian rhythm sleep disorders and old-age insomnia, research on endogenous melatonin in humans is hindered by the great interindividual variability of its amount and circadian rhythm. Single case studies on pinealectomized patients report on disrupted but also hypersomnic sleep. This is the first systematic prospective report on sleep with respect to pinealectomy due to pinealocytoma World Health Organization grade I without chemo- or radiotherapy. Before and after pinealectomy, 8 patients completed questionnaires on sleep quality and circadian rhythm (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire), 2 nights of polysomnography, salivary evening melatonin profiles, and qualitative assessment of 2 weeks of actigraphy and sleep logs. Six patients were assessed retrospectively up to 4 years after pinealectomy. Before pinealectomy, all but 1 patient showed an evening melatonin rise typical for indifferent chronotypes. After pinealectomy, evening saliva melatonin was markedly diminished, mostly below the detection limit of the assay (0.09 pg/mL). No systematic change in subjective sleep quality or standard measures of polysomnography was found. Mean pre- and postoperative sleep efficiency was 94% and 95%, and mean sleep-onset latency was 21 and 17 min, respectively. Sleep-wake rhythm during normal daily life did not change. Retrospective patients had a reduced sleep efficiency (90%) and more stage changes, although this was not significantly different from prospective patients. In conclusion, melatonin does seem to have a modulatory, not a

  3. Elevated heart rate and nondipping heart rate as potential targets for melatonin: a review.

    PubMed

    Simko, Fedor; Baka, Tomas; Paulis, Ludovit; Reiter, Russel J

    2016-09-01

    Elevated heart rate is a risk factor for cardiovascular and all-cause mortalities in the general population and various cardiovascular pathologies. Insufficient heart rate decline during the night, that is, nondipping heart rate, also increases cardiovascular risk. Abnormal heart rate reflects an autonomic nervous system imbalance in terms of relative dominance of sympathetic tone. There are only a few prospective studies concerning the effect of heart rate reduction in coronary heart disease and heart failure. In hypertensive patients, retrospective analyses show no additional benefit of slowing down the heart rate by beta-blockade to blood pressure reduction. Melatonin, a secretory product of the pineal gland, has several attributes, which predict melatonin to be a promising candidate in the struggle against elevated heart rate and its consequences in the hypertensive population. First, melatonin production depends on the sympathetic stimulation of the pineal gland. On the other hand, melatonin inhibits the sympathetic system in several ways representing potentially the counter-regulatory mechanism to normalize excessive sympathetic drive. Second, administration of melatonin reduces heart rate in animals and humans. Third, the chronobiological action of melatonin may normalize the insufficient nocturnal decline of heart rate. Moreover, melatonin reduces the development of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis, which are considered a crucial pathophysiological disorder of increased heart rate and pulsatile blood flow. The antihypertensive and antiremodeling action of melatonin along with its beneficial effects on lipid profile and insulin resistance may be of additional benefit. A clinical trial investigating melatonin actions in hypertensive patients with increased heart rate is warranted. PMID:27264986

  4. Association of mast cells with calcification in the human pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Maślińska, Danuta; Laure-Kamionowska, Milena; Deręgowski, Krzysztof; Maśliński, Sławomir

    2010-01-01

    Increased pineal calcifications and decreased pineal melatonin biosynthesis, both age related, support the notion of a pineal bio-organic timing mechanism. The role of calcification in the pathogenesis of pineal gland dysfunction remains unknown but the available data document that calcification is an organized, regulated process, rather than a passive aging phenomenon. The cellular biology and micro-environmental conditions required for calcification remain poorly understood but most studies have demonstrated evidence that mast cells are strongly implicated in this process. The aim of the present study was to examine the phenotype of mast cells associated with early stages and with the progressive development of calcification in the human pineal gland. The study was performed on pineal samples of 170 fetuses and children whose brains were autopsied and diagnosed during 1998-2002. The representative cerebral and pineal specimens were stained with haematoxylin and eosin or the von Kossa staining technique and for the distribution of mast cell tryptase, mast cell chymase, histamine H4 receptor and vascular network using biotinylated Ulex europaeus agglutinin. Tryptase mast cells were found in all stages of pineal gland development independently of the presence of local tissue lesions. All of them were always localized in the close vicinity of the blood vessels and expressed immunoreactivity to histamine H4 receptor antibody. Immunolocalization of mast cells by chymase antibody (and following dual immunostaining with both chymase and tryptase antibodies) demonstrated that these cells were few in number and were located in the subcapsular region of the gland. In our study, all functional mast cells that underwent activation and were co-localized with deposits of calcium did not contain chymase. All of them were stained with tryptase and represent the MC-T phenotype. Tryptase mast cells and extracellular tryptase were often associated with areas of early and more

  5. Ultrastructural and hormonal changes in the pineal-testicular axis following arecoline administration in rats.

    PubMed

    Saha, Indraneel; Chatterji, Urmi; Chaudhuri-Sengupta, Santasri; Nag, Tapas C; Nag, Debabrata; Banerjee, Samir; Maiti, B R

    2007-04-01

    Arecoline is an alkaloid of betel nut of Areca catechu. Betel nut is chewed by millions of people in the world and it causes oral and hepatic cancers in human. It has therapeutic value for the treatment of Alzheimer and schizophrenia. Arecoline has immunosuppressive, mutagenic and genotoxic effects in laboratory animals. It also affects endocrine functions. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of arecoline on pineal-testicular axis in rats. Since pineal activity is different between day and night, the current study is undertaken in both the photophase and scotophase. The findings were evaluated by ultrastructural and hormonal studies of pineal and testicular Leydig cells, with quantitations of fructose and sialic acid of sex accessories. Arecoline treatment (10 mg/kg body weight daily for 10 days) caused suppression of pineal activity at ultrastructural level by showing dilatation of the cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), large autophagosome-like bodies with swollen mitochondrial cristae, numerous lysosomes, degenerated synaptic ribbons and reduced number of synaptic-like microvesicles. Moreover, pineal and serum N-acetylserotonin and melatonin levels were decreased with increased serotonin levels in both the gland and serum. In contrast, testicular Leydig cell activity was stimulated with abundance of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER), electron-dense core vesicles and vacuolated secretory vesicles, and increased testosterone level in the arecoline recipients. Consequently, the testosterone target, like prostate, was ultrastructurally stimulated with abundance of RER and accumulation of secretory vesicles. Fructose and sialic acid concentrations were also significantly increased respectively in the coagulating gland and seminal vesicle. These results were more significant in the scotophase than the photophase. The findings suggest that arecoline inhibits pineal activity, but stimulates testicular function (testosterone level

  6. Regulation of serotonin N-acetyltransferase activity in the chick pineal gland by UV-A and white light: role of MK-801- and SCH 23390-sensitive retinal signals.

    PubMed

    Zawilska, Jolanta B; Lorenc, Anna; Berezińska, Małgorzata

    2007-01-01

    The rhythmic melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland is one of the most extensively studied circadian rhythms in vertebrates. Light is the dominant environmental factor controlling this process. Light at night acutely suppresses pineal melatonin content and activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AANAT; the key and penultimate enzyme in the hormone biosynthetic pathway). In addition, pulses of light appropriately timed reset the circadian oscillator generating the melatonin rhythm. Although the avian pineal gland is a directly photosensitive organ, it has recently been demonstrated that light perceived by the eyes only regulates its activity. The present study shows that ocular exposure of chicks to UV-A radiation or white light during the second half of the subjective night markedly decreased AANAT activity in the pineal gland, and produced a significant phase advance of the circadian rhythm of the enzyme activity. Both the suppressive and phase-shifting effects of UV-A light were antagonized by intraocular pretreatment of birds with MK 801 (a selective blocker of NMDA glutamate receptors), but were not modified by SCH 23390 (a selective antagonist of D1-dopamine receptors). On the other hand, the suppressive and phase-shifting effects of retinally perceived white light were antagonized by intraocular injection of SCH 23390, and not affected by MK 801. Our results demonstrate that retinal illumination with UV-A radiation and white light provide powerful signals that shift phase of the circadian oscillator generating melatonin rhythm in the chick pineal gland. It is suggested that control of pineal melatonin synthesis by retinally perceived UV-A and white light might involve input from different photoreceptors. PMID:17901569

  7. Subsensitive melatonin suppression by dim white light: possible biological marker of panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Pradeep J.; Burrows, Graham D.; Norman, Trevor R.

    1998-12-01

    Light is involved in providing entrainment of circadian rhythms and the suppression of the pineal hormone melatonin. In patients with affective disorders, there have been indications of circadian as well as seasonal variation in illness, which may be reflected in melatonin production. Varying sensitivity to light has been noted within healthy individuals as well as in some patients with affective disorders. Recent evidence suggests that patients with panic disorder may have an altered and phase-delayed melatonin rhythm. The present study examined the nocturnal plasma melatonin rhythm in patients with panic disorder, and also examined their melatonin sensitivity to dim light. The melatonin rhythm was examined in 6 patients with panic disorder and 8 controls. The melatonin sensitivity to dim white light (200 lx) was examined in 8 patients with panic disorder and 63 controls and was compared to that of a group of 7 patients with other anxiety disorders. Patients with panic disorder demonstrated a trend towards higher and delayed peak melatonin levels compared to controls. Patients with panic disorder also had a subsensitive melatonin suppression by dim white light, compared to controls and patients with other anxiety disorders (p<0.005). The phase-delayed circadian rhythm observed in patients with panic disorder may be secondary to the subsensitivity of the melatonin response to light. It is hypothesized that the subsensitivity may be due to abnormal neurotransmitter/receptor systems involved in regulation of melatonin suppression and circadian rhythmicity, and may lead to phase- delayed circadian rhythms. The melatonin subsensitivity to light may be used as a biological marker of panic disorder. PMID:11281954

  8. Melatonin and clinical application.

    PubMed

    Wetterberg, L

    1999-01-01

    A review of the different publications dealing with melatonin in humans shows that this field has been very active in the last few years. Normative melatonin values have been defined. Various relationships between melatonin and other traits have been studied, such as sleep, circadian rhythm, surgical stress and anaesthesia. Age-related melatonin studies and melatonin during depression and other psychiatric disorders have been reviewed. Finally, some studies have been performed to use melatonin as a medication for sleep disturbance in depression, for jet-lag and as a skin protector for ultraviolet light. PMID:10420439

  9. Retinal, pineal and diencephalic expression of frog arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase-1.

    PubMed

    Isorna, Esther; Besseau, Laurence; Boeuf, Gilles; Desdevises, Yves; Vuilleumier, Robin; Alonso-Gómez, Angel L; Delgado, María J; Falcón, Jack

    2006-06-27

    The arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) is a key enzyme in the rhythmic production of melatonin. Two Aanats are expressed in Teleost fish (Aanat1 in the retina and Aanat2 in the pineal organ) but only Aanat1 is found in tetrapods. This study reports the cloning of Aanat1 from R. perezi. Transcripts were mainly expressed in the retina, diencephalon, intestine and testis. In the retina and pineal organ, Aanat1 expression was in the photoreceptor cells. Expression was also seen in ependymal cells of the 3rd ventricle and discrete cells of the suprachiasmatic area. The expression of Aanat1 in both the retina and pineal organ, and the absence of Aanat2 suggests that green frog resembles more to birds and mammals than to Teleost fish, as far as Aanat is concerned. The significance of Aanat1 in extra-pineal and extra-retinal tissues remains to be elucidated; in the diencephalon, it might be associated to the so-called deep brain photoreceptor cells. PMID:16687207

  10. Melatonin exerts by an autocrine loop antiproliferative effects in cholangiocarcinoma; its synthesis is reduced favoring cholangiocarcinoma growth

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yuyan; DeMorrow, Sharon; Invernizzi, Pietro; Jing, Qing; Glaser, Shannon; Renzi, Anastasia; Meng, Fanyin; Venter, Julie; Bernuzzi, Francesca; White, Mellanie; Francis, Heather; Lleo, Ana; Marzioni, Marco; Onori, Paolo; Alvaro, Domenico; Torzilli, Guido; Gaudio, Eugenio

    2011-01-01

    Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a devastating biliary cancer. Melatonin is synthesized in the pineal gland and peripheral organs from serotonin by two enzymes, serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) and acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT). Cholangiocytes secrete neuroendocrine factors, including serotonin-regulating CCA growth by autocrine mechanisms. Melatonin exerts its effects by interaction with melatonin receptor type 1A/1B (MT1/MT2) receptors. We propose that 1) in CCA, there is decreased expression of AANAT and ASMT and secretion of melatonin, changes that stimulate CCA growth; and 2) in vitro overexpression of AANAT decreases CCA growth. We evaluated the 1) expression of AANAT, ASMT, melatonin, and MT1/MT2 in human nonmalignant and CCA lines and control and CCA biopsy samples; 2) melatonin levels in nonmalignant and CCA lines, and bile and serum from controls and patients with intrahepatic CCA; 3) effect of melatonin on the growth and expression of AANAT/ASMT and MT1/MT2 in CCA lines implanted into nude mice; and 4) effect of AANAT overexpression on the proliferation, apoptosis, and expression of MT1/MT2 in Mz-ChA-1 cells. The expression of AANAT, ASMT, and melatonin decreased, whereas MT1/MT2 expression increased in CCA lines and biopsy samples. Melatonin secretion decreased in the supernatant of CCA lines and bile of CCA patients. Melatonin decreased xenograft CCA tumor growth in nude mice by increased AANAT/ASMT and melatonin, along with reduced MT1/MT2 expression. Overexpression of AANAT in Mz-ChA-1 cells inhibited proliferation and MT1/MT2 expression and increased apoptosis. There is dysregulation of the AANAT/ASMT/melatoninmelatonin receptor axis in CCA, which inhibited melatonin secretion and subsequently enhanced CCA growth. PMID:21778461

  11. Continuous Melatonin Attenuates the Regressing Activities of Short Photoperiod in Male Golden Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Donchan

    2013-01-01

    Golden hamsters reproduce in a limited time of a year. Their sexual activities are active in summer but inactive in winter during which day length does not exceed night time and environmental conditions are severe to them. The reproductive activities are determined by the length of light in a day (photoperiod). Melatonin is synthesized and secreted only at night time from the pineal gland. Duration of elevated melatonin is longer in winter than summer, resulting in gonadal regression. The present study aimed at the influences of continuous melatonin treatments impinging on the gonadal function in male golden hamsters. Animals received empty or melatonin-filled capsules for 10 weeks. They were divided into long photoperiod (LP) and short photoperiod (SP). All the animals maintained in LP (either empty or melatonin-filled capsules) showed large testes, implying that melatonin had no effects on testicular functions. Animals housed in SP displayed completely regressed testes. But animals kept in SP and implanted with melatonin capsules exhibited blockage of full regression by SP. These results suggest that constant release of melatonin prohibits the regressing influence of SP. PMID:25949127

  12. Melatonin in humans: Possible involvement in SIDS, and use in contraceptives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wurtman, Richard J.; Lynch, Harry J.; Sturner, William Q.

    1991-01-01

    Relatively few tools exist for assessing the possible involvement of melatonin in normal or abnormal physiologlcal and behavioral states. One cannot perform the classic ablation experiment of endocrinologists by cavalierly removing the human's pineal, nor derive the same effect pharmacologically by administering a drug which blocks the actions of the indole on its receptors (because no such drugs, demonstrated to work in humans, exist). About all that can be done is to administer the melatonin and see what happens, or measure its levels in a body fluid and determine whether its temporal patterns track those of the physiological or behavioral variable being examined. The clinical state of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which apparently is associated with abnormalities in melatonin concentrations within body fluids obtained at autopsy is described. New data which suggest that exogenous melatonin has sufficient antigonadal potency to allow it to replace estrogen and, acting in combination with norethisterone, serve as a useful contraceptive agent is summarized.

  13. Neuroprotective role of melatonin in oxidative stress vulnerable brain.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Y K; Gupta, Madhur; Kohli, K

    2003-10-01

    The brain is deficient in oxidative defense mechanisms and hence is at greater risk of damage mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting in molecular and cellular dysfunction. Emerging evidence suggesting the activation of glutamate gated cation channels, may be another source of oxidative stress, leading to neuronal degeneration. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsonism, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, epileptic seizures, and stroke. Melatonin, the pineal hormone, acts as a direct free radical scavenger and indirect antioxidant. It is suggested that the increase in neurodegenerative diseases is attributable to a decrease in the levels of melatonin with age. Melatonin has been shown to either stimulate gene expression for the antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase) or to increase their activity. Additionally, it neutralizes hydoxyl radical, superoxide radical, peroxyl radical, peroxynitrite anion, singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide, and hypochlorous acid. Unlike other antioxidants, melatonin can easily cross all morphophysiological barriers, e.g., the blood brain barrier, and enters cells and subcellular compartments. Though evidence are accumulating to suggest the potential of melatonin in neurodegenerative conditions, much information needs to be generated before the drug can find place in neurology clinics. PMID:15266948

  14. Fall in nocturnal serum melatonin during prepuberty and pubescence.

    PubMed

    Waldhauser, F; Weiszenbacher, G; Frisch, H; Zeitlhuber, U; Waldhauser, M; Wurtman, R J

    1984-02-18

    Morning (7:30 AM to 10:00 AM) and nighttime (11:00 PM to 1:00 AM) serum melatonin concentrations were measured in 89 children, adolescents, and young adults. Morning levels (generally 0-20 pg/ml) did not change with sexual maturation or with age. Nighttime levels decreased significantly both with sexual maturation and with age. Nighttime serum melatonin fell from 195 +/- 24 pg/ml (mean +/- SEM) in prepubertal children younger than 7 years of age, to 119 +/- 23 pg/ml in prepubertal children aged 7 years or older, to 49 +/- 4 pg/ml in young adults (puberty stage V). Similarly, nocturnal serum melatonin levels fell from 210 +/- 35 pg/ml in the youngest age group (ages 1-5) to 133 +/- 17 in children aged 5-11 years and to 46 +/- 4 in young adults. Nocturnal plasma concentrations of luteinising hormone measured at various stages of puberty tended to vary inversely with those of melatonin (r = -0.35). Past difficulties in demonstrating a relation between gonadal maturation and human pineal function may have reflected the use of insufficiently sensitive or specific melatonin assays, or serum sampling only during daytime, or the initiation of sample collection when subjects were already too old. PMID:6141425

  15. Radionuclide Imaging of Neurohormonal System of the Heart

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xinyu; Werner, Rudolf A.; Javadi, Mehrbod S.; Maya, Yoshifumi; Decker, Michael; Lapa, Constantin; Herrmann, Ken; Higuchi, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    Heart failure is one of the growing causes of death especially in developed countries due to longer life expectancy. Although many pharmacological and instrumental therapeutic approaches have been introduced for prevention and treatment of heart failure, there are still limitations and challenges. Nuclear cardiology has experienced rapid growth in the last few decades, in particular the application of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET), which allow non-invasive functional assessment of cardiac condition including neurohormonal systems involved in heart failure; its application has dramatically improved the capacity for fundamental research and clinical diagnosis. In this article, we review the current status of applying radionuclide technology in non-invasive imaging of neurohormonal system in the heart, especially focusing on the tracers that are currently available. A short discussion about disadvantages and perspectives is also included. PMID:25825596

  16. Melatonin improves spermatogonial stem cells transplantation efficiency in azoospermic mice

    PubMed Central

    Gholami, Mohammadreza; Saki, Ghasem; Hemadi, Masoud; Khodadadi, Ali; Mohammadi-asl, Javad

    2014-01-01

    Objective(s): Transplantation quality improvement and reduction of cellular damage are important goals that are now considered by researchers. Melatonin is secreted from the pineal gland and some organs such as testes. According to beneficial effects of melatonin (such as its antioxidant and antiapoptotic properties), researchers have proposed that the use of melatonin may improve transplantation quality. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin on the spermatogonial stem cells transplantation in the azoospermic mice. Materials and Methods: The testes of the BALB/c mice pups (6-day-old) after vitrified-thawed, were digested with enzymes (collagenase, DNaseΙ, trypsin-EDTA) to disperse the cells. The SSCs, type A, were isolated from the rest of testicular cells by MACS. Spermatogonial stem cells were labeled with PKH26 fluorescent kit. Labeled spermatogonial stem cells were transplanted into the testes of infertile mice (busulfan 40 mg/kg). The mice died two months after transplantation and the efficiency of spermatogenesis was investigated. TNP2 and hematoxyline-eosin staining were used to detect the efficiency of cell transplantation. Results: TNP2 were detected in the samples that received melatonin and spermatogonial stem cells transplantation, simultaneously. TNP2 was not detectable in the transplant recipient mice that received placebo for 10 weeks (control group). According to hematoxyline-eosin staining, melatonin improved structure of testes. Conclusion: Administration of melatonin (20 mg/kg) simultaneously with transplantation of spermatogonial stem cells in azoospermia mouse testis increases the efficiency of transplantation and improves structural properties of the testes tissue. PMID:24711891

  17. Gingival, Plasma and Salivary Levels of Melatonin in Periodontally Healthy Individuals and Chronic Periodontitis Patients: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Balaji, Thodur Madapusi; Vasanthi, Hannah Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting tooth supporting structures in which dysregulated immune response and oxidative stress mediate tissue destruction. Melatonin, the pineal gland hormone is a regulator of circadian rhythm, an antioxidant and an immunomodulator. Previous studies have shown lowered melatonin levels in saliva, plasma and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) of patients with periodontal disease. Till date no study has assessed the melatonin levels in gingival tissues. Materials and Methods: Five healthy individuals and 15 chronic periodontitis patients were recruited for this pilot study. 5ml of whole saliva, 2 ml peripheral blood and gingival tissue samples were obtained from each individual at 8.00 am in fasting state. Melatonin assay was performed with a commercially available ELISA kit. Statistical analysis was done to assess the difference in mean melatonin levels among the groups. Results: No statistically significant difference was found in mean melatonin levels between healthy individuals and chronic periodontitis patients in saliva (p=.266) and plasma (p=.933) samples, whereas in gingival tissue samples (p=.015), the melatonin levels were significantly lowered in chronic periodontitis patients compared to healthy individuals. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the presence of melatonin in gingival tissue. Furthermore, melatonin levels are lowered in gingival tissues of chronic periodontitis patients. PMID:25954699

  18. Melatonin in plants.

    PubMed

    Reiter, R J; Tan, D X; Burkhardt, S; Manchester, L C

    2001-09-01

    Once thought to be exclusively a molecule of the animal kingdom, melatonin has now been found to exist in plants as well. Among a number of actions, melatonin is a direct free radical scavenger and an indirect antioxidant. Melatonin directly detoxifies the hydroxyl radical (OH), hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide, peroxynitrite anion, peroxynitrous acid, and hypochlorous acid. The products from each of these reactions have been identified in pure chemical systems and in at least one case in vivo; the interaction product of melatonin with the OH, ie., cyclic 3-hydroxymelatonin, is found in the urine of humans and rats. Some of the products that are produced when melatonin detoxifies reactive species are also highly efficient scavengers. As a result, a cascade of scavenging reactions may enhance the antioxidant capacity of melatonin. Additionally, melatonin increases the activity of several antioxidative enzymes, thereby improving its ability to protect macromolecules from oxidative stress. Melatonin is endogenously produced and is also consumed in edible plants. In animal experiments, feeding melatonin-containing foods raised blood levels of the indole. Because physiologic concentrations of melatonin in the blood are known to correlate with the total antioxidant capacity of the serum, consuming food-stuffs containing melatonin may be helpful in lowering oxidative stress. PMID:11570431

  19. Melatonin action in a midbrain vocal-acoustic network

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Ni Y.; Bass, Andrew H.

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin is a well-documented time-keeping hormone that can entrain an individual's physiology and behavior to the day–night cycle, though surprisingly little is known about its influence on the neural basis of social behavior, including vocalization. Male midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus) produce several call types distinguishable by duration and by daily and seasonal cycles in their production. We investigated melatonin's influence on the known nocturnal- and breeding season-dependent increase in excitability of the midshipman's vocal network (VN) that directly patterns natural calls. VN output is readily recorded from the vocal nerve as a ‘fictive call’. Five days of constant light significantly increased stimulus threshold levels for calls electrically evoked from vocally active sites in the medial midbrain, supporting previous findings that light suppresses VN excitability, while 2-iodomelatonin (2-IMel; a melatonin analog) implantation decreased threshold. 2-IMel also increased fictive call duration evoked from medial sites as well as lateral midbrain sites that produced several-fold longer calls irrespective of photoregime or drug treatment. When stimulus intensity was incrementally increased, 2-IMel increased duration only at lateral sites, suggesting that melatonin action is stronger in the lateral midbrain. For animals receiving 5 days of constant darkness, known to increase VN excitability, systemic injections of either of two mammalian melatonin receptor antagonists increased threshold and decreased duration for calls evoked from medial sites. Our results demonstrate melatonin modulation of VN excitability and suggest that social context-dependent call types differing in duration may be determined by neuro-hormonal action within specific regions of a midbrain vocal-acoustic network. PMID:24265429

  20. Photoperiod: Its importance as an impeller of pineal and seasonal reproductive rhythms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiter, R. J.

    1980-03-01

    A number of long day breeding rodents depend on seasonal changes in photoperiodic length to synchronize their breeding seasons with the appropriate time of the year. These relationships are particularly conspicuous in the Syrian hamster where day length is vitally important in determining periods of sexual activity and inactivity. The organ in the body whose activity is most closely attuned to the photoperiodic environment is the pineal gland. During periods of darkness the biochemical and secretory activity of the pineal is enhanced with the resultant production of antigonadotrophic principles which are strongly suppressive to reproductive physiology. In this manner, decreasing day lengths of the fall are involved with suppressing sexual capability in male and female hamsters. Throughout the winter months darkness (because of the shorter day lengths and the fact that hamsters remain underground in lightless burrows) holds the gonads in an atrophic condition and thereby prevents hamsters from breeding. As spring approaches the neuroendocrine reproductive axis becomes refractory to the inhibitory effects of darkness and the pineal gland and, as a consequence, the gonads recrudesce allowing the animals to successfully reproduce. The long days of the spring and summer serve to interrupt the refractory period so that when winter approaches shortening day lengths will again, by way of the pineal gland, induce gonadalinvolution. In this scheme both light and darkness are critically important in synchronizing the phases of the annual reproductive cycle of the hamster with the appropriate season of the year. Melatonin may be the pineal hormone which mediates the effects of darkness on reproductive physiology.

  1. Nocturnal plasma melatonin and alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone levels during exacerbation of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Awerbuch, G I

    1992-01-01

    The pineal gland has been implicated recently in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). To investigate this hypothesis further, we studied nocturnal plasma melatonin levels and the presence or absence of pineal calcification (PC) on CT scan in a cohort of 25 patients (5 men, 20 women; mean age: 41.1 years; SD = 11.1; range: 27-72) who were admitted to a hospital Neurology service for exacerbation of symptoms. Plasma alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) estimations were included in the study since there is evidence for a feedback inhibition between alpha-MSH and melatonin secretion. Abnormal melatonin levels were found in 13 patients (52.0%), 11 of whom had nocturnal levels which were below the daytime values (i.e., < 25 pg/ml). Although melatonin levels were unrelated to the patient's age and sex, there was a positive correlation with age of onset of symptoms (p < .0001) and an inverse correlation with the duration of illness (p < .05). PC was noted in 24 of 25 patients (96%) underscoring the pathogenetic relationship between MS and the pineal gland. Alpha-MSH levels were undetectable in 15 patients (60.0%), low in two patients (8.0%), normal in seven patients (28.0%), and elevated in one patient (4.0%). Collectively, abnormal alpha-MSH levels were found in over 70% of patients. These findings support the hypothesis that MS may be associated with pineal failure and suggest, furthermore, that alterations in the secretion of alpha-MSH also occur during exacerbation of symptoms. The relevance of these findings to the pathogenesis of MS are discussed. PMID:1305632

  2. Reduction of Melatonin Level in Patients with Type II Diabetes and Periodontal Diseases.

    PubMed

    Abdolsamadi, Hamidreza; Goodarzi, Mohammad Taghi; Ahmadi Motemayel, Fatemeh; Jazaeri, Mina; Feradmal, Javad; Zarabadi, Mahdiyeh; Hoseyni, Mostafa; Torkzaban, Parviz

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Melatonin is a circulating hormone that is mainly released from the pineal gland. It possesses antioxidant, free-radical scavenging, and immune-enhancing properties. A growing number of studies reveal a complex role for melatonin in influencing various diseases, including diabetes and periodontal diseases. The aim of this study was to examine the possible links between salivary melatonin levels and type II diabetes and periodontal diseases. Materials and methods. A total of 30 type II diabetic patients, 30 patients with periodontal diseases, 30 type II diabetic patients with periodontal disease and 30 age- and BMI-matched controls were studied. The periodontal status was evaluated by the Community Periodontal Index (CPI). Salivary melatonin levels were determined by a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Results. The mean of salivary melatonin level was significantly lower in patients with either periodontitis or diabetes compared to healthy subjects (P < 0.05). Salivary melatonin concentration decreased in type II diabetic patients and periodontitis patients, and then decreased reaching the lowest levels in type II diabetic patients with periodontal disease. Conclusion. Based on the results of this study, it can probably be concluded that salivary level of melatonin has an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetes and periodontal diseases. It is also worth noting that this factor could probably be used as a pivotal biological marker in the diagnosis and possible treatment of these diseases, although further research is required to validate this hypothesis. PMID:25346835

  3. The Protective Effect of Melatonin on Neural Stem Cell against LPS-Induced Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Kang, So Mang; Lee, Kyoung Min

    2015-01-01

    Stem cell therapy for tissue regeneration has several limitations in the fact that transplanted cells could not survive for a long time. For solving these limitations, many studies have focused on the antioxidants to increase survival rate of neural stem cells (NSCs). Melatonin, an antioxidant synthesized in the pineal gland, plays multiple roles in various physiological mechanisms. Melatonin exerts neuroprotective effects in the central nervous system. To determine the effect of melatonin on NSCs which is in LPS-induced inflammatory stress state, we first investigated nitric oxide (NO) production and cytotoxicity using Griess reagent assays, LDH assay, and neurosphere counting. Also, we investigated the effect of melatonin on NSCs by measuring the mRNA levels of SOX2, TLX, and FGFR-2. In addition, western blot analyses were performed to examine the activation of PI3K/Akt/Nrf2 signaling in LPS-treated NSCs. In the present study, we suggested that melatonin inhibits NO production and protects NSCs against LPS-induced inflammatory stress. In addition, melatonin promoted the expression of SOX2 and activated the PI3K/Akt/Nrf2 signaling under LPS-induced inflammation condition. Based on our results, we conclude that melatonin may be an important factor for the survival and proliferation of NSCs in neuroinflammatory diseases. PMID:25705693

  4. Sexually Dimorphic Effects of Melatonin on Brain Arginine Vasotocin Immunoreactivity in Green Treefrogs (Hyla cinerea)

    PubMed Central

    Lutterschmidt, Deborah I.; Wilczynski, Walter

    2012-01-01

    Arginine vasotocin (AVT) and its mammalian homologue, arginine vasopressin (AVP), regulate a variety of social and reproductive behaviors, often with complex species-, sex-, and context-dependent effects. Despite extensive evidence documenting seasonal variation in brain AVT/AVP, relatively few studies have investigated the environmental and/or hormonal factors mediating these seasonal changes. In the present study, we investigated whether the pineal hormone melatonin alters brain AVT immunoreactivity in green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea). Reproductively active male and female frogs were collected during the summer breeding season and a melatonin-filled or blank silastic capsule was surgically implanted subcutaneously. The duration of hormone treatment was 4 weeks, at which time frogs were euthanized and the brains and blood collected and processed for AVT immunohistochemistry and steroid hormone assay. We quantified AVT-immunoreactive (AVT-ir) cell bodies in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), caudal striatum and amygdala (AMG), anterior preoptic area (POA), suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and infundibular region of the ventral hypothalamus (VH). Sex differences in AVT-ir cell number were observed in all brain regions except the anterior POA and VH, with males having more AVT-ir cells than females in the NAcc, AMG, and SCN. Brain AVT was sensitive to melatonin signaling during the breeding season, and the effects of melatonin varied significantly with both region and sex. Treatment with melatonin decreased AVT immunoreactivity in both the NAcc and SCN in male H. cinerea. In contrast, brain AVT was relatively insensitive to melatonin signaling in females, indicating that the regulation of the AVT/AVP neuropeptide system by melatonin may be sexually dimorphic. Finally, melatonin did not significantly influence testosterone or estradiol concentrations of male or female frogs, respectively, suggesting that the effects of melatonin on AVT immunoreactivity are independent of

  5. Analysis of the mechanism by which melatonin inhibits human eosinophil peroxidase

    PubMed Central

    Lu, T; Galijasevic, S; Abdulhamid, I; Abu-Soud, H M

    2008-01-01

    Background and purpose: Eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) catalyses the formation of oxidants implicated in the pathogenesis of various respiratory diseases including allergy and asthma. Mechanisms for inhibiting EPO, once released, are poorly understood. The aim of this work is to determine the mechanisms by which melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland, inhibits the catalytic activity of EPO. Experimental approach: We utilized H2O2-selective electrode and direct rapid kinetic measurements to determine the pathways by which melatonin inhibits human EPO. Key results: In the presence of plasma levels of bromide (Br−), melatonin inactivates EPO at two different points in the classic peroxidase cycle. First, it binds to EPO and forms an inactive complex, melatonin-EPO-Br, which restricts access of H2O2 to the catalytic site of the oxidation enzyme. Second, melatonin competes with Br− and switches the reaction from a two electron (2e−) to a one electron (1e−) pathway allowing the enzyme to function with catalase-like activity. Melatonin is a bulky molecule and binds to the entrance of the EPO haem pocket (regulatory sites). Furthermore, Br− seems to enhance the affinity of this binding. In the absence of Br−, melatonin accelerated formation of EPO Compound II and its decay by serving as a 1e− substrate for EPO Compounds I and II. Conclusions and implications: The interplay between EPO and melatonin may have a broader implication in the function of several biological systems. This dual regulation by melatonin is unique and represents a new mechanism for melatonin to control EPO and its downstream inflammatory pathways. PMID:18516076

  6. Effects of melatonin administration on daytime sleep after simulated night shift work

    PubMed Central

    SHARKEY, KATHERINE M.; FOGG, LOUIS F.; EASTMAN, CHARMANE I.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Disturbed sleep and on-the-job sleepiness are widespread problems among night shift workers. The pineal hormone melatonin may prove to be a useful treatment because it has both sleep-promoting and circadian phase-shifting effects. This study was designed to isolate melatonin’s sleep-promoting effects, and to determine whether melatonin could improve daytime sleep and thus improve night time alertness and performance during the night shift. The study utilized a placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over design. Subjects (n = 21, mean age = 27.0 ± 5.0 years) participated in two 6-day laboratory sessions. Each session included one adaptation night, two baseline nights, two consecutive 8-h night shifts followed by 8-h daytime sleep episodes and one recovery night. Subjects took 1.8 mg sustained-release melatonin 0.5 h before the two daytime sleep episodes during one session, and placebo before the daytime sleep episodes during the other session. Sleep was recorded using polysomnography. Sleepiness, performance, and mood during the night shifts were evaluated using the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) and a computerized neurobehavioral testing battery. Melatonin prevented the decrease in sleep time during daytime sleep relative to baseline, but only on the first day of melatonin administration. Melatonin increased sleep time more in subjects who demonstrated difficulty in sleeping during the day. Melatonin had no effect on alertness on the MSLT, or performance and mood during the night shift. There were no hangover effects from melatonin administration. These findings suggest that although melatonin can help night workers obtain more sleep during the day, they are still likely to face difficulties working at night because of circadian rhythm misalignment. The possibility of tolerance to the sleep-promoting effects of melatonin across more than 1 day needs further investigation. PMID:11696071

  7. Melatonin-dopamine interactions: from basic neurochemistry to a clinical setting.

    PubMed

    Zisapel, N

    2001-12-01

    To review the interaction between melatonin and the dopaminergic system in the hypothalamus and striatum and its potential clinical use in dopamine-related disorders in the central nervous system. Medline-based search on melatonin-dopamine interactions in mammals. Melatonin. the hormone produced by the pineal gland at night. influences circadian and seasonal rhythms, most notably the sleep-wake cycle and seasonal reproduction. The neurochemical basis of these activities is not understood yet. Inhibition of dopamine release by melatonin has been demonstrated in specific areas of the mammalian central nervous system (hypothalamus, hippocampus, medulla-pons, and retina). Antidopaminergic activities of melatonin have been demonstrated in the striatum. Dopaminergic transmission has a pivotal role in circadian entrainment of the fetus, in coordination of body movement and reproduction. Recent findings indicate that melatonin may modulate dopaminergic pathways involved in movement disorders in humans. In Parkinson patients melatonin may, on the one hand, exacerbate symptoms (because of its putative interference with dopamine release) and, on the other, protect against neurodegeneration (by virtue of its antioxidant properties and its effects on mitochondrial activity). Melatonin appears to be effective in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. a severe movement disorder associated with long-term blockade of the postsynaptic dopamine D2 receptor by antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenic patients. The interaction of melatonin with the dopaminergic system may play a significant role in the nonphotic and photic entrainment of the biological clock as well as in the fine-tuning of motor coordination in the striatum. These interactions and the antioxidant nature of melatonin may be beneficial in the treatment of dopamine-related disorders. PMID:12043836

  8. The Effects of Melatonin on Brain Arginine Vasotocin: Relationship with Sex and Seasonal Differences in Melatonin Receptor Type 1 in Green Treefrogs (Hyla cinerea).

    PubMed

    Howard, C M; Lutterschmidt, D I

    2015-08-01

    The neuroendocrine mechanisms by which animals synchronise their physiological state with environmental cues are vital to timing life-history events appropriately. One important endocrine transducer of environmental cues in vertebrates is the pineal hormone melatonin, the secretion of which is directly sensitive to photoperiod and temperature. Melatonin modulates arginine vasotocin (AVT)-immunoreactive (-IR) cell number in the brain of green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea) during the summer breeding season, and this modulation is sexually dimorphic. In the present study, we investigated whether the influence of melatonin on vasotocin varies seasonally. We show that treatment of nonreproductive male green treefrogs with melatonin-filled silastic implants for 4 weeks during the winter does not alter vasotocin-IR cell number in any brain region (i.e. nucleus accumbens, amygdala, preoptic area, suprachiasmatic nucleus or ventral hypothalamus). Taken together, these results suggest that the influence of melatonin on AVT is associated with sex and seasonal variation in melatonin receptor expression. We tested this hypothesis by using immunohistochemistry to characterise the distribution of melatonin receptor type 1 (MT1, also known as Mel1a) in the brain of reproductive and nonreproductive male and female frogs. We quantified MT1-IR cell number in regions known to contain AVT cell populations. Reproductive males had significantly more MT1-IR cells than nonreproductive males in all brain regions, including the combined nucleus accumbens, diagonal band of Broca and septum, striatum, amygdala, combined preoptic area and suprachiasmatic nucleus, as well as the ventral hypothalamus. In the accumbens region, where the effect of melatonin on AVT is known to be sexually dimorphic, males had significantly more MT1-IR cells than females during the summer breeding season. Based on these findings, we suggest that MT1 plays a role in mediating the interactions between melatonin and

  9. Analgesic, Anxiolytic and Anaesthetic Effects of Melatonin: New Potential Uses in Pediatrics

    PubMed Central

    Marseglia, Lucia; D’Angelo, Gabriella; Manti, Sara; Aversa, Salvatore; Arrigo, Teresa; Reiter, Russel J.; Gitto, Eloisa

    2015-01-01

    Exogenous melatonin is used in a number of situations, first and foremost in the treatment of sleep disorders and jet leg. However, the hypnotic, antinociceptive, and anticonvulsant properties of melatonin endow this neurohormone with the profile of a drug that modulates effects of anesthetic agents, supporting its potential use at different stages during anesthetic procedures, in both adults and children. In light of these properties, melatonin has been administered to children undergoing diagnostic procedures requiring sedation or general anesthesia, such as magnetic resonance imaging, auditory brainstem response tests and electroencephalogram. Controversial data support the use of melatonin as anxiolytic and antinociceptive agents in pediatric patients undergoing surgery. The aim of this review was to evaluate available evidence relating to efficacy and safety of melatonin as an analgesic and as a sedative agent in children. Melatonin and its analogs may have a role in antinociceptive therapies and as an alternative to midazolam in premedication of adults and children, although its effectiveness is still controversial and available data are clearly incomplete. PMID:25569095

  10. Modulation of Ca2+ oscillation and melatonin secretion by BKCa channel activity in rat pinealocytes.

    PubMed

    Mizutani, Hiroya; Yamamura, Hisao; Muramatsu, Makoto; Hagihara, Yumiko; Suzuki, Yoshiaki; Imaizumi, Yuji

    2016-05-01

    The pineal glands regulate circadian rhythm through the synthesis and secretion of melatonin. The stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor due to parasympathetic nerve activity causes an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and eventually downregulates melatonin production. Our previous report shows that rat pinealocytes have spontaneous and nicotine-induced Ca(2+) oscillations that are evoked by membrane depolarization followed by Ca(2+) influx through voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (VDCCs). These Ca(2+) oscillations are supposed to contribute to the inhibitory mechanism of melatonin secretion. Here we examined the involvement of large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BKCa) channel conductance on the regulation of Ca(2+) oscillation and melatonin production in rat pinealocytes. Spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations were markedly enhanced by BKCa channel blockers (1 μM paxilline or 100 nM iberiotoxin). Nicotine (100 μM)-induced Ca(2+) oscillations were also augmented by paxilline. In contrast, spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations were abolished by BKCa channel opener [3 μM 12,14-dichlorodehydroabietic acid (diCl-DHAA)]. Under whole cell voltage-clamp configurations, depolarization-elicited outward currents were significantly activated by diCl-DHAA and blocked by paxilline. Expression analyses revealed that the α and β3 subunits of BKCa channel were highly expressed in rat pinealocytes. Importantly, the activity of BKCa channels modulated melatonin secretion from whole pineal gland of the rat. Taken together, BKCa channel activation attenuates these Ca(2+) oscillations due to depolarization-synchronized Ca(2+) influx through VDCCs and results in a recovery of reduced melatonin secretion during parasympathetic nerve activity. BKCa channels may play a physiological role for melatonin production via a negative-feedback mechanism. PMID:26791489

  11. Potential benefits of melatonin in organ transplantation: a review.

    PubMed

    Esteban-Zubero, Eduardo; García-Gil, Francisco Agustín; López-Pingarrón, Laura; Alatorre-Jiménez, Moisés Alejandro; Iñigo-Gil, Pablo; Tan, Dun-Xian; García, José Joaquín; Reiter, Russel J

    2016-06-01

    Organ transplantation is a useful therapeutic tool for patients with end-stage organ failure; however, graft rejection is a major obstacle in terms of a successful treatment. Rejection is usually a consequence of a complex immunological and nonimmunological antigen-independent cascade of events, including free radical-mediated ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). To reduce the frequency of this outcome, continuing improvements in the efficacy of antirejection drugs are a top priority to enhance the long-term survival of transplant recipients. Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a powerful antioxidant and ant-inflammatory agent synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan; it is produced by the pineal gland as well as by many other organs including ovary, testes, bone marrow, gut, placenta, and liver. Melatonin has proven to be a potentially useful therapeutic tool in the reduction of graft rejection. Its benefits are based on its direct actions as a free radical scavenger as well as its indirect antioxidative actions in the stimulation of the cellular antioxidant defense system. Moreover, it has significant anti-inflammatory activity. Melatonin has been found to improve the beneficial effects of preservation fluids when they are enriched with the indoleamine. This article reviews the experimental evidence that melatonin is useful in reducing graft failure, especially in cardiac, bone, otolaryngology, ovarian, testicular, lung, pancreas, kidney, and liver transplantation. PMID:27068700

  12. Effects of melatonin and its analogues on neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Chu, Jiaqi; Tu, Yalin; Chen, Jingkao; Tan, Dunxian; Liu, Xingguo; Pi, Rongbiao

    2016-01-15

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are multipotent cells which are capable of self-replication and differentiation into neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). NSCs are found in two main regions in the adult brain: the subgranular zone (SGZ) in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and the subventricular zone (SVZ). The recent discovery of NSCs in the adult mammalian brain has fostered a plethora of translational and preclinical studies to investigate novel approaches for the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. Melatonin is the major secretory product synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland and shows both a wide distribution within phylogenetically distant organisms from bacteria to humans and a great functional versatility. Recently, accumulated experimental evidence showed that melatonin plays an important role in NSCs, including its proliferation, differentiation and survival, which are modulated by many factors including MAPK/ERK signaling pathway, histone acetylation, neurotrophic factors, transcription factors, and apoptotic genes. The purpose of this review is to summarize the beneficial effects of melatonin on NSCs and further to discuss the potential usage of melatonin and its derivatives or analogues in the treatment of CNS neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26499395

  13. Melatonin Inhibits CXCL10 and MMP-1 Production in IL-1β-Stimulated Human Periodontal Ligament Cells.

    PubMed

    Hosokawa, Ikuko; Hosokawa, Yoshitaka; Shindo, Satoru; Ozaki, Kazumi; Matsuo, Takashi

    2016-08-01

    Melatonin is a hormone that is mainly secreted by the pineal gland and exhibits a wide spectrum of activities, including antioxidant functions. Melatonin has been detected in gingival crevicular fluid. However, the role of melatonin in periodontal tissue is still uncertain. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of melatonin on inflammatory mediator expression in human periodontal ligament cells (HPDLC). Interleukin (IL)-1β induced CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)10, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 production in HPDLC. Melatonin decreased CXCL10 and MMP-1 production and increased TIMP-1 production in IL-1β-stimulated HPDLC. Western blot analysis showed that melatonin inhibited p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation, and IkB-α degradation and phosphorylation in IL-1β-stimulated HPDLC. These results suggest that melatonin might inhibit Th1 cell migration by reducing CXCL10 production. Moreover, melatonin might inhibit soft tissue destruction by decreasing MMP-1 production in periodontal lesions. PMID:27271323

  14. Pineal calcification and its relationship to the fatigue of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Awerbuch, G I

    1994-01-01

    Fatigue is one of the most common clinical features of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is a frequent cause of disability. The pathogenesis of fatigue remains obscure. It may result from impaired propagation of action potentials in areas of demyelination. Other contributors may be mental depression, immobility, and physical disability. The fatigue of MS may be relieved by diverse pharmacological drugs such as amantadine and pemoline, but the mechanisms by which these agents act to ameliorate fatigue are unknown. Attention has been focused recently on the relationship between MS and the pineal gland and evidence has been presented to implicate the pineal gland and melatonin in the pathogenesis of the disease. To investigate this relationship further, we studied in 47 MS patients (mean age: 41.6 +/- 9.9 yrs; mean duration of illness: 13.6 +/- 12.6 yrs) the association between fatigue and incidence of pineal calcification (PC) on CT scan, which is thought to reflect past secretory activity of the gland. For comparison, we also evaluated the incidence of choroid plexus calcification (CPC) in these patients. The sample included 20 patients who experienced ongoing, debilitating fatigue during the course of the disease. 27 patients who did not complain of fatigue served as controls. The two groups were not distinguishable with respect to age, sex, age of onset, chronicity, course (relapsing-remitting vs. chronic progressive), and severity of the disease (ambulatory vs. immobile), as well as the incidence of affective illness.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7928120

  15. Atypical Teratomas of the Pineal

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, I.; Baxter, D. W.; Stratford, J. G.

    1963-01-01

    Atypical teratomas of the pineal were studied pathologically and clinically, and five illustrative cases are described. The results of three postmortem examinations are available, while two of the patients are living, one leading a normal life. Pathological verification revealed that two had suprasellar “ectopic” pinealomas. One neoplasm was located in the pineal (collicular) region. The histology of the tumours was identical, consisting of small cells resembling lymphocytes and large cells with prominent nucleoli and mitoses. This feature plus the midline location led to adoption of the term “atypical teratoma”. Patients with collicular pinealomas presented with headache, vomiting, papilledema, Parinaud's syndrome and, rarely, nystagmus retractorius. Diabetes insipidus, visual difficulty and hypopituitarism were characteristic features in those with suprasellar neoplasms. Treatment of collicular pinealoma has consisted of the use of a palliative shunt followed by a course of radiation. Chiasmal decompression and radiation have produced favourable results in patients with suprasellar pinealoma. ImagesFig. 1Fig. 2Fig. 3Fig. 4Fig. 5Fig. 6Fig. 7Fig. 8Fig. 9Fig. 10Fig. 11Fig. 12 PMID:20327617

  16. Protection against cognitive deficits and markers of neurodegeneration by long-term oral administration of melatonin in a transgenic model of Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Olcese, James M; Cao, Chuanhai; Mori, Takashi; Mamcarz, Malgorzata B; Maxwell, Anne; Runfeldt, Melissa J; Wang, Li; Zhang, Chi; Lin, Xiaoyang; Zhang, Guixin; Arendash, Gary W

    2009-08-01

    The neurohormone melatonin has been reported to exert anti-beta-amyloid aggregation, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory actions in various in vitro and animal models. To comprehensively determine the potential for long-term melatonin treatment to protect Alzheimer's transgenic mice against cognitive impairment and development of beta-amyloid (Abeta) neuropathology, we administered melatonin (100 mg/L drinking water) to APP + PS1 double transgenic (Tg) mice from 2-2.5 months of age to their killing at age 7.5 months. A comprehensive behavioral battery administered during the final 6 weeks of treatment revealed that Tg mice given melatonin were protected from cognitive impairment in a variety of tasks of working memory, spatial reference learning/memory, and basic mnemonic function; Tg control mice remained impaired in all of these cognitive tasks/domains. Immunoreactive Abeta deposition was significantly reduced in hippocampus (43%) and entorhinal cortex (37%) of melatonin-treated Tg mice. Although soluble and oligomeric forms of Abeta1-40 and 1-42 were unchanged in the hippocampus and cortex of the same melatonin-treated Tg mice, their plasma Abeta levels were elevated. These Abeta results, together with our concurrent demonstration that melatonin suppresses Abeta aggregation in brain homogenates, are consistent with a melatonin-facilitated removal of Abeta from the brain. Inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were decreased in hippocampus (but not plasma) of Tg+ melatonin mice. Finally, the cortical mRNA expression of three antioxidant enzymes (SOD-1, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase) was significantly reduced to non-Tg levels by long-term melatonin treatment in Tg mice. Thus, melatonin's cognitive benefits could involve its anti-Abeta aggregation, anti-inflammatory, and/or antioxidant properties. Our findings provide support for long-term melatonin therapy as a primary or complementary strategy for abating the progression of

  17. Evidence of melatonin secretion in cetaceans: plasma concentration and extrapineal HIOMT-like presence in the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus.

    PubMed

    Panin, Mattìa; Gabai, Gianfranco; Ballarin, Cristina; Peruffo, Antonella; Cozzi, Bruno

    2012-06-01

    The pineal gland is generally believed to be absent in cetaceans, although few and subsequently unconfirmed reports described the organ in some species. The recent description of a complete and photographed pineal body in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to examine a series of 29 brains of the same species, but no gland was found. We then decided to investigate if the main product of the gland, melatonin, was nevertheless produced and present in the plasma of this species. We collected plasma and serum samples from a series of captive bottlenose dolphins for a period of 7 months spanning from winter to summer and we determined the indoleamine concentration by radio-immunoassay (RIA). The results demonstrated for the first time a quantitative assessment of melatonin production in the blood of a cetacean. Melatonin levels were comparable to those of terrestrial mammals (5.15-27.74 pg/ml daylight concentration), with indications of both seasonal and daily variation although the presence of a circadian rhythm remains uncertain. Immunohistochemical analyses using as a marker hydroxyindole-O-methyl-transferase (HIOMT, the key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of the hormone), suggested extrapineal melatonin production by the retina, the Harderian gland and the gut. The enzyme was unequivocally localized in all the three tissues, and, specifically, ganglion cells in the retina showed a very strong HIOMT-immunoreactivity. Our results suggest that further research might reveal unexplored aspects of melatonin production in cetaceans and deserves special attention and further efforts. PMID:22554922

  18. Pineal function: impact of microarray analysis.

    PubMed

    Klein, David C; Bailey, Michael J; Carter, David A; Kim, Jong-so; Shi, Qiong; Ho, Anthony K; Chik, Constance L; Gaildrat, Pascaline; Morin, Fabrice; Ganguly, Surajit; Rath, Martin F; Møller, Morten; Sugden, David; Rangel, Zoila G; Munson, Peter J; Weller, Joan L; Coon, Steven L

    2010-01-27

    Microarray analysis has provided a new understanding of pineal function by identifying genes that are highly expressed in this tissue relative to other tissues and also by identifying over 600 genes that are expressed on a 24-h schedule. This effort has highlighted surprising similarity to the retina and has provided reason to explore new avenues of study including intracellular signaling, signal transduction, transcriptional cascades, thyroid/retinoic acid hormone signaling, metal biology, RNA splicing, and the role the pineal gland plays in the immune/inflammation response. The new foundation that microarray analysis has provided will broadly support future research on pineal function. PMID:19622385

  19. Melatonin's role in preventing toxin-related and sepsis-mediated hepatic damage: A review.

    PubMed

    Esteban-Zubero, Eduardo; Alatorre-Jiménez, Moisés Alejandro; López-Pingarrón, Laura; Reyes-Gonzales, Marcos César; Almeida-Souza, Priscilla; Cantín-Golet, Amparo; Ruiz-Ruiz, Francisco José; Tan, Dun-Xian; García, José Joaquín; Reiter, Russel J

    2016-03-01

    The liver is a central organ in detoxifying molecules and would otherwise cause molecular damage throughout the organism. Numerous toxic agents including aflatoxin, heavy metals, nicotine, carbon tetrachloride, thioacetamide, and toxins derived during septic processes, generate reactive oxygen species followed by molecular damage to lipids, proteins and DNA, which culminates in hepatic cell death. As a result, the identification of protective agents capable of ameliorating the damage at the cellular level is an urgent need. Melatonin is a powerful endogenous antioxidant produced by the pineal gland and a variety of other organs and many studies confirm its benefits against oxidative stress including lipid peroxidation, protein mutilation and molecular degeneration in various organs, including the liver. Recent studies confirm the benefits of melatonin in reducing the cellular damage generated as a result of the metabolism of toxic agents. These protective effects are apparent when melatonin is given as a sole therapy or in conjunction with other potentially protective agents. This review summarizes the published reports that document melatonin's ability to protect hepatocytes from molecular damage due to a wide variety of substances (aflatoxin, heavy metals, nicotine, carbon tetrachloride, chemotherapeutics, and endotoxins involved in the septic process), and explains the potential mechanisms by which melatonin provides these benefits. Melatonin is an endogenously-produced molecule which has a very high safety profile that should find utility as a protective molecule against a host of agents that are known to cause molecular mutilation at the level of the liver. PMID:26808084

  20. Pgc-1α and Nr4a1 Are Target Genes of Circadian Melatonin and Dopamine Release in Murine Retina

    PubMed Central

    Kunst, Stefanie; Wolloscheck, Tanja; Kelleher, Debra K.; Wolfrum, Uwe; Sargsyan, S. Anna; Iuvone, P. Michael; Baba, Kenkichi; Tosini, Gianluca; Spessert, Rainer

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The neurohormones melatonin and dopamine mediate clock-dependent/circadian regulation of inner retinal neurons and photoreceptor cells and in this way promote their functional adaptation to time of day and their survival. To fulfill this function they act on melatonin receptor type 1 (MT1 receptors) and dopamine D4 receptors (D4 receptors), respectively. The aim of the present study was to screen transcriptional regulators important for retinal physiology and/or pathology (Dbp, Egr-1, Fos, Nr1d1, Nr2e3, Nr4a1, Pgc-1α, Rorβ) for circadian regulation and dependence on melatonin signaling/MT1 receptors or dopamine signaling/D4 receptors. Methods This was done by gene profiling using quantitative polymerase chain reaction in mice deficient in MT1 or D4 receptors. Results The data obtained determined Pgc-1α and Nr4a1 as transcriptional targets of circadian melatonin and dopamine signaling, respectively. Conclusions The results suggest that Pgc-1α and Nr4a1 represent candidate genes for linking circadian neurohormone release with functional adaptation and healthiness of retina and photoreceptor cells. PMID:26393668

  1. Calcification of the pineal gland: relationship to laterality of the epileptic foci in patients with complex partial seizures.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R

    1992-01-01

    The right and left temporal lobes differ from each other with respect to the rate of intrauterine growth, the timing of maturation, rate of aging, anatomical organization, neurochemistry, metabolic rate, electroencephalographic measures, and function. These functional differences between the temporal lobes underlies the different patterns of psychopathology and endocrine reproductive disturbances noted in patients with temporolimbic epilepsy. The right hemisphere has greater limbic and reticular connections than the left. Since the pineal gland receives direct innervation from the limbic system and the secretion of melatonin is influenced by an input from the reticular system, I propose that lesions in the right temporal lobe have a greater impact on pineal melatonin functions as opposed to those in the left dominant temporal lobe. Consequently, since calcification of the pineal gland is thought to reflect past secretory activity of the gland, I predicted a higher prevalence of pineal calcification (PC) in epileptic patients with right temporal lobe as opposed to those with left temporal lobe foci. To investigate this hypothesis, the prevalence of PC on CT scan was studied in a sample of 70 patients (43 men, 27 women, mean age: 29.2 years, range 9-58; SD = 10.1) with complex partial seizures, of whom 49 (70.0%) had a right temporal lobe focus. PC was present in 51 patients (72.8%) and was unrelated to any of the historical and demographic data surveyed. In the patients with a focus in the right temporal lobe, PC was present in 46 cases (93.8%) as compared to 5 of 21 patients (23.8%) with left temporal lobe foci.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1341678

  2. Neurotranscriptomics: The Effects of Neonatal Stimulus Deprivation on the Rat Pineal Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Hartley, Stephen W.; Coon, Steven L.; Savastano, Luis E.; Mullikin, James C.; Fu, Cong; Klein, David C.

    2015-01-01

    The term neurotranscriptomics is used here to describe genome-wide analysis of neural control of transcriptomes. In this report, next-generation RNA sequencing was using to analyze the effects of neonatal (5-days-of-age) surgical stimulus deprivation on the adult rat pineal transcriptome. In intact animals, more than 3000 coding genes were found to exhibit differential expression (adjusted-p < 0.001) on a night/day basis in the pineal gland (70% of these increased at night, 376 genes changed more than 4-fold in either direction). Of these, more than two thousand genes were not previously known to be differentially expressed on a night/day basis. The night/day changes in expression were almost completely eliminated by neonatal removal (SCGX) or decentralization (DCN) of the superior cervical ganglia (SCG), which innervate the pineal gland. Other than the loss of rhythmic variation, surgical stimulus deprivation had little impact on the abundance of most genes; of particular interest, expression levels of the melatonin-synthesis-related genes Tph1, Gch1, and Asmt displayed little change (less than 35%) following DCN or SCGX. However, strong and consistent changes were observed in the expression of a small number of genes including the gene encoding Serpina1, a secreted protease inhibitor that might influence extracellular architecture. Many of the genes that exhibited night/day differential expression in intact animals also exhibited similar changes following in vitro treatment with norepinephrine, a superior cervical ganglia transmitter, or with an analog of cyclic AMP, a norepinephrine second messenger in this tissue. These findings are of significance in that they establish that the pineal-defining transcriptome is established prior to the neonatal period. Further, this work expands our knowledge of the biological process under neural control in this tissue and underlines the value of RNA sequencing in revealing how neurotransmission influences cell biology. PMID

  3. Computed tomographic evaluation of pineal calcification.

    PubMed

    Kohli, N; Rastogi, H; Bhadury, S; Tandon, V K

    1992-04-01

    A prospective study to ascertain the incidence of normally calcified pineal gland, was carried out in 1000 consecutive patients from different parts of Uttar Pradesh (India), undergoing cranial computed tomography for reasons other than a pineal or parapineal pathology. A total of 167 (16.70%) patients were found to have calcified pineals. Of these 128 were males and 39 females. The incidence rose from 1.16 per cent in the first decade to 31.88 per cent above the age of 50 yr. The percentage incidence of normal pineal calcification was lower than that seen in the Western population. No significant difference was found between men and women in any age group. Although calcification appeared as early as the first decade, this percentage was significantly lower than in the higher age groups. Significantly higher incidence rates were seen in the second decade, third decade and sixth decade onwards. PMID:1428055

  4. Effects of bucindolol on neurohormonal activation in congestive heart failure

    SciTech Connect

    Eichhorn, E.J.; McGhie, A.L.; Bedotto, J.B.; Corbett, J.R.; Malloy, C.R.; Hatfield, B.A.; Deitchman, D.; Willard, J.E.; Grayburn, P.A. )

    1991-01-01

    To examine the effects of beta-adrenergic blockade on neurohormonal activation in patients with congestive heart failure, 15 men had assessments of hemodynamics and supine peripheral renin and norepinephrine levels before and after 3 months of oral therapy with bucindolol, a nonselective beta antagonist. At baseline, plasma renin activity did not correlate with any hemodynamic parameter. However, norepinephrine levels had a weak correlation with left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (r = 0.74, p less than 0.01), stroke volume index (r = 0.61, p less than 0.02) and pulmonary vascular resistance (r = 0.54, p less than 0.05). Plasma renin decreased with bucindolol therapy, from 11.6 +/- 13.4 to 4.3 +/- 4.1 ng/ml/hour (mean +/- standard deviation; p less than 0.05), whereas plasma norepinephrine was unchanged, from 403 +/- 231 to 408 +/- 217 pg/ml. A wide diversity of the norepinephrine response to bucindolol was observed with reduction of levels in some patients and elevation in others. Although plasma norepinephrine did not decrease, heart rate tended to decrease (from 82 +/- 20 vs 73 +/- 11 min-1, p = 0.059) with beta-adrenergic blockade, suggesting neurohormonal antagonism at the receptor level. No changes in I-123 metaiodobenzylguanidine uptake occurred after bucindolol therapy, suggesting unchanged adrenergic uptake of norepinephrine with beta-blocker therapy. Despite reductions in plasma renin activity and the presence of beta blockade, the response of renin or norepinephrine levels to long-term bucindolol therapy did not predict which patients had improved in hemodynamic status (chi-square = 0.37 for renin, 0.82 for norepinephrine).

  5. Pineal region masses--imaging findings and surgical approaches.

    PubMed

    Lensing, Forrester D; Abele, Travis A; Sivakumar, Walavan; Taussky, Philipp; Shah, Lubdha M; Salzman, Karen L

    2015-01-01

    The anatomy of the pineal region is complex. Despite advances in surgical techniques since the first reported successful pineal region surgery in the early 20th century, pineal region surgery remains challenging owing to the proximity of deep cerebral veins and dorsal midbrain structures critical for vision. In this article, we review the relevant surgical anatomy of the pineal region and discuss historically important and current surgical approaches. We describe specific imaging features of pineal region masses that may affect surgical planning and review neoplastic and nonneoplastic masses that occur in the pineal region. PMID:25027864

  6. Cavernous angioma of the pineal region.

    PubMed

    Donati, P; Maiuri, F; Gangemi, M; Gallicchio, B; Sigona, L

    1992-01-01

    The pineal region is one of the most rare localizations of intracranial cavernous angiomas, with only 8 cases reported up today. The Authors report a case of cavernous angioma of such localization and review the pertinent literature. Magnetic resonance allows the correct diagnosis of cavernous malformations on the basis of their typical aspect, even in the absence of histological verification. We suggest that this imaging technique will allow to identify more frequently pineal cavernomas preoperatively, thus avoiding useless irradiation. PMID:1484302

  7. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. LXXV. Nomenclature, Classification, and Pharmacology of G Protein-Coupled Melatonin Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Delagrange, Philippe; Krause, Diana N.; Sugden, David; Cardinali, Daniel P.; Olcese, James

    2010-01-01

    The hormone melatonin (5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine) is synthesized primarily in the pineal gland and retina, and in several peripheral tissues and organs. In the circulation, the concentration of melatonin follows a circadian rhythm, with high levels at night providing timing cues to target tissues endowed with melatonin receptors. Melatonin receptors receive and translate melatonin's message to influence daily and seasonal rhythms of physiology and behavior. The melatonin message is translated through activation of two G protein-coupled receptors, MT1 and MT2, that are potential therapeutic targets in disorders ranging from insomnia and circadian sleep disorders to depression, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. This review summarizes the steps taken since melatonin's discovery by Aaron Lerner in 1958 to functionally characterize, clone, and localize receptors in mammalian tissues. The pharmacological and molecular properties of the receptors are described as well as current efforts to discover and develop ligands for treatment of a number of illnesses, including sleep disorders, depression, and cancer. PMID:20605968

  8. Role of Exogenous Melatonin on Cell Proliferation and Oxidant/Antioxidant System in Aluminum-Induced Renal Toxicity.

    PubMed

    Karabulut-Bulan, Omur; Bayrak, Bertan Boran; Arda-Pirincci, Pelin; Sarikaya-Unal, Guner; Us, Huseyin; Yanardag, Refiye

    2015-11-01

    Aluminum has toxic potential on humans and animals when it accumulates in various tissues. It was shown in a number of studies that aluminum causes oxidative stress by free radical formation and lipid peroxidation in tissues and thus may cause damage in target organs. Although there are numerous studies investigating aluminum toxicity, biochemical mechanisms of the damage caused by aluminum have yet to be explained. Melatonin produced by pineal gland was shown to be an effective antioxidant. Since kidneys are target organs for aluminum accumulation and toxicity, we have studied the role of melatonin against aluminum-induced renal toxicity in rats. Wistar albino rats were divided into five groups. Group I served as control, and received only physiological saline; group II served as positive control for melatonin, and received ethanol and physiological saline; group III received melatonin (10 mg/kg); group IV received aluminum sulfate (5 mg/kg) and group V received aluminum sulfate and melatonin (in the same dose), injected three times a week for 1 month. Administration of aluminum caused degenerative changes in renal tissues, such as increase in metallothionein immunoreactivity and decrease in cell proliferation. Moreover, uric acid and lipid peroxidation levels and xanthine oxidase activity increased, while glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase, paraoxonase 1, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and sodium potassium ATPase activities decreased. Administration of melatonin mostly prevented these symptoms. Results showed that melatonin is a potential beneficial agent for reducing damage in aluminum-induced renal toxicity. PMID:25855374

  9. Melatonin attenuates hypertension-related proarrhythmic myocardial maladaptation of connexin-43 and propensity of the heart to lethal arrhythmias.

    PubMed

    Benova, Tamara; Viczenczova, Csilla; Radosinska, Jana; Bacova, Barbara; Knezl, Vladimir; Dosenko, Victor; Weismann, Peter; Zeman, Michal; Navarova, Jana; Tribulova, Narcis

    2013-08-01

    We hypothesized that the pineal hormone melatonin, which exhibits cardioprotective effects, might affect myocardial expression of cell-to-cell electrical coupling protein connexin-43 (Cx43) and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling, and hence, the propensity of the heart to lethal ventricular fibrillation (VF). Spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and normotensive Wistar rats fed a standard rat chow received melatonin (40 μg/mL in drinking water during the night) for 5 weeks, and were compared with untreated rats. Melatonin significantly reduced blood pressure and normalized triglycerides in SHR, whereas it decreased body mass and adiposity in Wistar rats. Compared with healthy rats, the threshold to induce sustained VF was significantly lower in SHR (18.3 ± 2.6 compared with 29.2 ± 5 mA; p < 0.05) and increased in melatonin-treated SHR and Wistar rats to 33.0 ± 4 and 32.5 ± 4 mA. Melatonin attenuated abnormal myocardial Cx43 distribution in SHR, and upregulated Cx43 mRNA, total Cx43 protein, and its functional phosphorylated forms in SHR, and to a lesser extent, in Wistar rat hearts. Moreover, melatonin suppressed myocardial proapoptotic PKCδ expression and increased cardioprotective PKCε expression in both SHR and Wistar rats. Our findings indicate that melatonin protects against lethal arrhythmias at least in part via upregulation of myocardial Cx43 and modulation of PKC-related cardioprotective signaling. PMID:23889002

  10. Melatonin and Oral Cavity

    PubMed Central

    Cengiz, Murat İnanç; Cengiz, Seda; Wang, Hom-Lay

    2012-01-01

    While initially the oral cavity was considered to be mainly a source of various bacteria, their toxins and antigens, recent studies showed that it may also be a location of oxidative stress and periodontal inflammation. Accordingly, this paper focuses on the involvement of melatonin in oxidative stress diseases of oral cavity as well as on potential therapeutic implications of melatonin in dental disorders. Melatonin has immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities, stimulates the proliferation of collagen and osseous tissue, and acts as a protector against cellular degeneration associated with aging and toxin exposure. Arising out of its antioxidant actions, melatonin protects against inflammatory processes and cellular damage caused by the toxic derivates of oxygen. As a result of these actions, melatonin may be useful as a coadjuvant in the treatment of certain conditions of the oral cavity. However, the most important effect of melatonin seems to result from its potent antioxidant, immunomodulatory, protective, and anticancer properties. Thus, melatonin could be used therapeutically for instance, locally, in the oral cavity damage of mechanical, bacterial, fungal, or viral origin, in postsurgical wounds caused by tooth extractions and other oral surgeries. Additionally, it can help bone formation in various autoimmunological disorders such as Sjorgen syndrome, in periodontal diseases, in toxic effects of dental materials, in dental implants, and in oral cancers. PMID:22792106

  11. Protective effect of melatonin against zonisamide-induced reproductive disorders in male rats

    PubMed Central

    Abdu, Faiza

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Zonisamide (ZNS) is a modern antiepileptic drug (AED) that is distinguished from other AEDs by its unique structure and broad mechanistic profile. The pineal hormone melatonin is involved in the regulation of reproductive function, including the timing of the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. The aim of the present work was to study the protective effect of melatonin against the potential suppression impact of ZNS on reproductive activity. Material and methods Ninety adult albino male rats were allocated to several groups treated with melatonin (10 mg/kg BW), ZNS (10, 20 and 50 mg/kg BW) and 10 mg/kg of melatonin plus ZNS (10, 20 or 50 mg/kg BW, respectively). Reproductive hormones (testosterone, LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)) levels were measured in animal serum. Sperm abnormalities and DNA fragmentation in testis tissues as well as expression alteration of several reproductive-related genes were analyzed. Results The results revealed that ZNS decreased the levels of serum free testosterone, LH, and FSH and expression of their encoding genes in male rats. In addition, ZNS treatment increased the sperm abnormalities and DNA fragmentation and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in testis tissues as well as GABA level in liver tissues. However, melatonin supplementation inhibited the negative symptoms of ZNS in which it increased the levels of reproductive hormones and expression of their encoding genes in the ZNS-treated rats. Moreover, melatonin decreased the sperm abnormalities, DNA fragmentation, iNOS activity and GABA level in ZNS-treated rats. Conclusions The data obtained in this study suggest that melatonin administration confers protection against toxicity inflicted by ZNS, and support the contention that melatonin protection is achieved by its ability as a scavenger for free radicals generated by ZNS. PMID:26170862

  12. Melatonin inhibits the caspase-1/cytochrome c/caspase-3 cell death pathway, inhibits MT1 receptor loss and delays disease progression in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yi; Cook, Anna; Kim, Jinho; Baranov, Sergei V.; Jiang, Jiying; Smith, Karen; Cormier, Kerry; Bennett, Erik; Browser, Robert P.; Day, Arthur L.; Carlisle, Diane; Ferrante, Robert J.; Wang, Xin; Friedlander, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Caspase-mediated cell death contributes to the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in the mutant SOD1G93A transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), along with other factors such as inflammation and oxidative damage. By screening a drug library, we found that melatonin, a pineal hormone, inhibited cytochrome c release in purified mitochondria and prevented cell death in cultured neurons. In this study, we evaluated whether melatonin would slow disease progression in SOD1G93A mice. We demonstrate that melatonin significantly delayed disease onset, neurological deterioration and mortality in ALS mice. ALS-associated ventral horn atrophy and motor neuron death were also inhibited by melatonin treatment. Melatonin inhibited Rip2/caspase-1 pathway activation, blocked the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, and reduced the overexpression and activation of caspase-3. Moreover, for the first time, we determined that disease progression was associated with the loss of both melatonin and the melatonin receptor 1A (MT1) in the spinal cord of ALS mice. These results demonstrate that melatonin is neuroprotective in transgenic ALS mice, and this protective effect is mediated through its effects on the caspase-mediated cell death pathway. Furthermore, our data suggest that melatonin and MT1 receptor loss may play a role in the pathological phenotype observed in ALS. The above observations indicate that melatonin and modulation of Rip2/caspase-1/cytochrome c or MT1 pathways may be promising therapeutic approaches for ALS. PMID:23537713

  13. Melatonin, a potent agent in antioxidative defense: Actions as a natural food constituent, gastrointestinal factor, drug and prodrug

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger; Pandi-Perumal, SR

    2005-01-01

    Melatonin, originally discovered as a hormone of the pineal gland, is also produced in other organs and represents, additionally, a normal food constituent found in yeast and plant material, which can influence the level in the circulation. Compared to the pineal, the gastrointestinal tract contains several hundred times more melatonin, which can be released into the blood in response to food intake and stimuli by nutrients, especially tryptophan. Apart from its use as a commercial food additive, supraphysiological doses have been applied in medical trials and pure preparations are well tolerated by patients. Owing to its amphiphilicity, melatonin can enter any body fluid, cell or cell compartment. Its properties as an antioxidant agent are based on several, highly diverse effects. Apart from direct radical scavenging, it plays a role in upregulation of antioxidant and downregulation of prooxidant enzymes, and damage by free radicals can be reduced by its antiexcitatory actions, and presumably by contributions to appropriate internal circadian phasing, and by its improvement of mitochondrial metabolism, in terms of avoiding electron leakage and enhancing complex I and complex IV activities. Melatonin was shown to potentiate effects of other antioxidants, such as ascorbate and Trolox. Under physiological conditions, direct radical scavenging may only contribute to a minor extent to overall radical detoxification, although melatonin can eliminate several of them in scavenger cascades and potentiates the efficacy of antioxidant vitamins. Melatonin oxidation seems rather important for the production of other biologically active metabolites such as N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AFMK) and N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AMK), which have been shown to also dispose of protective properties. Thus, melatonin may be regarded as a prodrug, too. AMK interacts with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, conveys protection to mitochondria, inhibits and downregulates

  14. Antinociceptive properties of selective MT(2) melatonin receptor partial agonists.

    PubMed

    López-Canul, Martha; Comai, Stefano; Domínguez-López, Sergio; Granados-Soto, Vinicio; Gobbi, Gabriella

    2015-10-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone involved in the regulation of both acute and chronic pain whose mechanism is still not completely understood. We have recently demonstrated that selective MT2 melatonin receptor partial agonists have antiallodynic properties in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain by modulating ON/OFF cells of the descending antinociceptive system. Here, we examined the antinociceptive properties of the selective MT2 melatonin receptor partial agonists N-{2-[(3-methoxyphenyl)phenylamino]ethyl}acetamide (UCM765) and N-{2-[(3-bromophenyl)-(4-fluorophenyl)amino]ethyl}acetamide (UCM924) in two animal models of acute and inflammatory pain: the hot-plate and formalin tests. UCM765 and UCM924 (5-40 mg/kg, s.c.) dose-dependently increased the temperature of the first hind paw lick in the hot-plate test, and decreased the total time spent licking the injected hind paw in the formalin test. Antinociceptive effects of UCM765 and UCM924 were maximal at the dose of 20mg/kg. At this dose, the effects of UCM765 and UCM924 were similar to those produced by 200 mg/kg acetaminophen in the hot-plate test, and by 3 mg/kg ketorolac or 150 mg/kg MLT in the formalin test. Notably, antinociceptive effects of the two MT2 partial agonists were blocked by the pre-treatment with the MT2 antagonist 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin (4P-PDOT, 10 mg/kg) in both paradigms. These results demonstrate the antinociceptive properties of UCM765 and UCM924 in acute and inflammatory pain models and corroborate the concept that MT2 melatonin receptor may be a novel target for analgesic drug development. PMID:26162699

  15. Melatonin role preventing steatohepatitis and improving liver transplantation results.

    PubMed

    Esteban-Zubero, Eduardo; García-Gil, Francisco Agustín; López-Pingarrón, Laura; Alatorre-Jiménez, Moisés Alejandro; Ramírez, José Manuel; Tan, Dun-Xian; García, José Joaquín; Reiter, Russel J

    2016-08-01

    Liver steatosis is a prevalent process that is induced due to alcoholic or non-alcoholic intake. During the course of these diseases, the generation of reactive oxygen species, followed by molecular damage to lipids, protein and DMA occurs generating organ cell death. Transplantation is the last-resort treatment for the end stage of both acute and chronic hepatic diseases, but its success depends on ability to control ischemia-reperfusion injury, preservation fluids used, and graft quality. Melatonin is a powerful endogenous antioxidant produced by the pineal gland and a variety of other because of its efficacy in organs; melatonin has been investigated to improve the outcome of organ transplantation by reducing ischemia-reperfusion injury and due to its synergic effect with organ preservation fluids. Moreover, this indolamine also prevent liver steatosis. That is important because this disease may evolve leading to an organ transplantation. This review summarizes the observations related to melatonin beneficial actions in organ transplantation and ischemic-reperfusion models. PMID:27022943

  16. Modulation by Melatonin of the Pathogenesis of Inflammatory Autoimmune Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Gu-Jiun; Huang, Shing-Hwa; Chen, Shyi-Jou; Wang, Chih-Hung; Chang, Deh-Ming; Sytwu, Huey-Kang

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin is the major secretory product of the pineal gland during the night and has multiple activities including the regulation of circadian and seasonal rhythms, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It also possesses the ability to modulate immune responses by regulation of the T helper 1/2 balance and cytokine production. Autoimmune diseases, which result from the activation of immune cells by autoantigens released from normal tissues, affect around 5% of the population. Activation of autoantigen-specific immune cells leads to subsequent damage of target tissues by these activated cells. Melatonin therapy has been investigated in several animal models of autoimmune disease, where it has a beneficial effect in a number of models excepting rheumatoid arthritis, and has been evaluated in clinical autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. This review summarizes and highlights the role and the modulatory effects of melatonin in several inflammatory autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease. PMID:23727938

  17. Diffusion characteristics of pediatric pineal tumors

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Matthew T; Siddiqui, Adeel; Klimo, Paul; Boop, Frederick A

    2015-01-01

    Background Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) has been shown to be helpful in characterizing tumor cellularity, and predicting histology. Several works have evaluated this technique for pineal tumors; however studies to date have not focused on pediatric pineal tumors. Objective We evaluated the diffusion characteristics of pediatric pineal tumors to confirm if patterns seen in studies using mixed pediatric and adult populations remain valid. Materials and methods This retrospective study was performed after Institutional Review Board approval. We retrospectively evaluated all patients 18 years of age and younger with pineal tumors from a single institution where preoperative diffusion weighted imaging as well as histologic characterization was available. Results Twenty patients (13 male, 7 female) with pineal tumors were identified: seven with pineoblastoma, four with Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET), two with other pineal tumors, and seven with germ cell tumors including two germinomas, three teratomas, and one mixed germinoma-teratoma. The mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values in pineoblastoma (544 ± 65 × 10–6 mm2/s) and pineoblastoma/PNET (595 ± 144 × 10–6 mm2/s) was lower than that of the germ cell tumors (1284 ± 334 × 10–6 mm2/s; p < 0.0001 vs pineoblastoma). One highly cellular germinoma had an ADC value of 694 × 10–6 mm2/s. Conclusion ADC values can aid in differentiation of pineoblastoma/PNET from germ cell tumors in a population of children with pineal masses. PMID:25963154

  18. Pineal cyst: a review of clinical and radiological features.

    PubMed

    Choy, Winward; Kim, Won; Spasic, Marko; Voth, Brittany; Yew, Andrew; Yang, Isaac

    2011-07-01

    Pineal cysts (PCs) are benign and often asymptomatic lesions of the pineal region that are typically small and do not change in size over time. PCs appear as small, well circumscribed, unilocular masses that either reside within or completely replace the pineal gland. This article reviews and discusses the characteristic features of PCs-clinical, histological, and identifiable by various imaging modalities-which assist clinicians in narrowing the differential diagnosis for pineal lesions. PMID:21801982

  19. Melatonin and Other Tryptophan Metabolites Produced by Yeasts: Implications in Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hornedo-Ortega, Ruth; Cerezo, Ana B.; Troncoso, Ana M.; Garcia-Parrilla, M. Carmen; Mas, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Yeast metabolism produces compounds derived from tryptophan, which are found in fermented beverages, such as wine and beer. In particular, melatonin and serotonin, may be relevant due to their bioactivity in humans. Indeed, the former is a neurohormone related to circadian rhythms, which also has a putative protective effect against degenerative diseases. Moreover, serotonin is a neurotransmitter itself, in addition to being a precursor of melatonin synthesis. This paper summarizes data reported on fermented beverages, to evaluate dietary intake. Additionally, the article reviews observed effects of yeast amino acid metabolites on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and angiogenesis, focusing on evidence of the molecular mechanism involved and identification of molecular targets. PMID:26834716

  20. Recent progress in the development of agonists and antagonists for melatonin receptors.

    PubMed

    Zlotos, D P

    2012-01-01

    The various physiological actions of the neurohormone melatonin are mediated mainly by two G-protein-coupled MT(1) and MT(2) receptors. The melatoninergic drugs on the market, ramelteon and agomelatine, as well as the most advanced drug candidates under clinical evaluation, tasimelteon and PD-6735, are high-affinity nonselective MT(1) and MT(2) agonists. However, exploring the exact physiological role of the MT(1) and MT(2) melatonin receptors requires subtype selective MT(1) and MT(2) ligands. This review covers novel melatoninergic agonists and antagonists published since 2010, focusing on high-affinity and subtype selective agents. Additionally, compounds not mentioned in the previous review articles and ligands selective for the MT(3) binding site are included. PMID:22680635

  1. Seasonal changes in melatonin concentrations in female Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus).

    PubMed

    García, Andrés; Landete-Castillejos, Tomás; Zarazaga, Luis; Garde, Julián; Gallego, Laureano

    2003-04-01

    In deer, most of the earlier investigations on pineal function examined the effects of artificial photoperiods or the administration of melatonin to manipulate reproduction. However, endogenous melatonin rhythms have not been studied in red deer. Thus, we monitored seasonal changes in plasma melatonin concentrations in 16 adult female Iberian red deer living in outdoor enclosures. Blood was sampled on the day of each seasonal change every 3-4 hr overnight and 1 hr before and after sunset and sunrise. In addition, in six of the previous hinds, blood sampling during the hour prior and after sunset and sunrise was collected every 20 min. Significant differences were found both in amplitude and duration of the nocturnal plasma melatonin profiles in the four seasonal changes (P < 0.01). The nocturnal mean level of melatonin, the duration of nocturnal secretion levels and maximal concentrations were significantly higher at the winter solstice than in summer solstice or equinoxes (P < 0.05). Moreover, the mean overnight concentrations were significantly higher at the spring equinox and winter solstice than during the summer solstice and autumn equinox (P < 0.05). A pronounced elevation from low levels was recorded 1 hr after sunset, remained elevated during the hours of darkness and declined to low levels 1 hr after dawn. Concentrations close to sunrise were higher than those near sunset at all changes of season (P < 0.05). These results show for the first time in red deer that the pineal gland of the adult female is highly responsive to both daily and seasonal changes in natural environmental illumination, although overnight levels lasted longer than the photoperiodic night is all cases, particularly at the winter solstice. PMID:12614474

  2. Role of photoperiod and melatonin in seasonal acclimatization of the djungarian hamster, Phodopus sungorus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinlechner, S.; Heldmaier, G.

    1982-12-01

    The Djungarian hamster, Phodopus sungorus, shows a clear annual cycle in some thermogenic parameters such as nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) and cold resistance. These seasonal changes were found to be basically controlled by natural changes in photoperiod. Further support for this view was obtained by exposing the hamsters to artificial long and short photoperiods. Implantation of melatonin during fall and winter results in an increased thermogenic capacity in both short and long day hamsters comparable to that shown by values of control hamsters exposed to short photoperiods during winter. This thermotropic action of melatonin and of short photoperiod could be found only in fall and winter whereas during spring and summer, melatonin, like photoperiod, had no influence on thermogenic capacities. These results show that the actions of melatonin and photoperiod vary with the season and that they depend upon the photoperiodic history of the hamsters. Our results further indicate that the pineal gland with its hormone melatonin is involved in mediation of photoperiodic control of seasonal acclimatization.

  3. The midline pineal "eye": MR and CT characteristics of the pineal gland with and without benign cyst formation.

    PubMed

    Jinkins, J R; Xiong, L; Reiter, R J

    1995-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of pineal cysts and pineal calcifications and to determine the incidence of benign pineal cysts. Two-hundred-fifty magnetic resonance examinations were retrospectively examined for the incidence of pineal cysts. In addition, 60 collected cases of pineal cysts were evaluated with regard to cross sectional diameter and magnetic resonance signal characteristics. Finally, the magnetic resonance signal characteristics of pineal tissue in 50 patients were compared to companion computed tomographic scans that were scrutinized for the presence or absence of calcification. The incidence of pineal cysts as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging in this study was 10.8%. The minimal and maximal measurements ranged from a low of 2 x 2 x 2 mm to a high of 10 x 12 x 10 mm. The magnetic resonance signal intensities of pineal cyst as compared to cerebrospinal fluid were iso- or hyperintense on all magnetic resonance sequences in the majority of cases. Calcifications of the pineal gland as revealed by computed tomography tended to be isointense to gray matter if the calcifications were small and hypointense to gray matter if large on all magnetic resonance acquisitions. A careful analysis of the magnetic resonance signal characteristics enables the recognition of moderate- to large-sized pineal calcifications and their differentiation from large pineal cysts. However, small cysts of the pineal gland can be difficult or impossible to distinguish on magnetic resonance imaging from calcifications without comparison with computed tomography. PMID:8609598

  4. Developmental and light-entrained expression of melatonin and its relationship to the circadian clock in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The primary hormone of the vertebrate pineal gland, melatonin, has been identified broadly throughout the eukaryotes. While the role for melatonin in cyclic behavior via interactions with the circadian clock has only been reported in vertebrates, comparative research has shown that the transcription-translation loops of the animal circadian clock likely date to the cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor, leaving open significant questions about the evolutionary origin of melatonin signaling in circadian behavior by interacting with the molecular clock. Results Expression of melatonin in adult anemones showed peak expression at the end of light period (zeitgeber time (ZT) = 12) when cultured under diel conditions, coinciding with expression of genes and enzyme activity for members of the melatonin synthesis pathway (tryptophan hydroxylase and hydroxyindol-O-methyltransferase), which also showed rhythmic expression. During embryogenesis and juvenile stages, melatonin showed cyclic oscillations in concentration, peaking in midday. Spatial (in situ hybridization) and quantitative (real-time PCR) transcription of clock genes during development of N. vectensis showed these ‘clock’ genes are expressed early in the development, prior to rhythmic oscillations, suggesting functions independent of a function in the circadian clock. Finally, time-course studies revealed that animals transferred from diel conditions to constant darkness lose circadian expression for most of the clock genes within 4 days, which can be reset by melatonin supplementation. Conclusions Our results support an ancient role for melatonin in the circadian behavior of animals by showing cyclic expression of this hormone under diel conditions, light-dependent oscillations in genes in the melatonin synthesis pathway, and the function of melatonin in initiating expression of circadian clock genes in the cnidarian N. vectensis. The differences in expression melatonin and the circadian clock gene

  5. Pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation.

    PubMed

    Patil, Meena; Karandikar, Manjiri

    2015-01-01

    The 2007 World Health Organization classification of tumors of the central nervous system identified "pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation" (PPTID) as a new pineal parenchymal neoplasm, located between pineocytoma and pineoblastoma as grade II or III. Because of the small number of reported cases, the classification of PPT is still a matter of controversy. We report a case of PPTID. A 25-year-old female patient was admitted to hospital with complaints of a headache, nausea, vomiting since 1-year. Computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed well-defined, mildly enhancing lesion in the region of the pineal gland with areas of calcification. The tumor was excised. After 3 years, she presented with metastasis in thoracic and lumbosacral spinal region. This is a rare event. PMID:26549088

  6. CT and MR of pineal region tumors.

    PubMed

    Gouliamos, A D; Kalovidouris, A E; Kotoulas, G K; Athanasopoulou, A K; Kouvaris, J R; Trakadas, S J; Vlahos, L J; Papavasiliou, C G

    1994-01-01

    Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging features of pineal region tumors were analyzed in 14 oncologic cases. The tumors were classified as germ-cell tumors, glial tumors, pineal parenchymal tumors, meningiomas, and cysts. They demonstrated different MR signal characteristics on precontrast scans and nodular or ring type enhancement with occasional central lucencies, except for benign cysts, which have not shown enhancement. MR images were useful in defining the relationship of the tumor to the posterior third ventricle, sylvian aqueduct, vein of Galen, and tentorium. Although CT can demonstrate in more evident fashion displacement of the original pineal calcification as well as tumor calcifications, MR imaging demonstrates different signal characteristics in germinomas and pineoblastomas which can be a useful adjunct in the evaluation and differential diagnosis of these tumors. PMID:8295504

  7. Tectal pineal cyst in a 1-year-old girl.

    PubMed

    Plowey, Edward D; Vogel, Hannes; Yeom, Kristen W; Jung, Henry; Chao, Kevin; Edwards, Michael S B

    2014-03-01

    Glial cysts of the pineal gland can frequently be found in adults and children, but only rarely do they enlarge to become clinically relevant. We report a unique presentation of a pineal cyst in the midbrain tectum of a 16-month-old girl who initially presented with ptosis and strabismus. Preoperative imaging studies and intraoperative findings revealed no continuity between the tectal cyst and the pineal gland proper. We surmise that this tectal pineal cyst may have arisen from duplicated pineal gland tissue. PMID:24411061

  8. Melatonin promotes blood-brain barrier integrity in methamphetamine-induced inflammation in primary rat brain microvascular endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Jumnongprakhon, Pichaya; Govitrapong, Piyarat; Tocharus, Chainarong; Tocharus, Jiraporn

    2016-09-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone and has high potent of antioxidant that is widely reported to be active against methamphetamine (METH)-induced toxicity to neuron, glial cells, and brain endothelial cells. However, the role of melatonin on the inflammatory responses which are mostly caused by blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairment by METH administration has not been investigated. This study used the primary rat brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVECs) to determine the protective mechanism of melatonin on METH-induced inflammatory responses in the BBB via nuclear factor-ĸB (NF-κB) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) signaling. Herein, we demonstrated that melatonin reduced the level of the inflammatory mediators, including intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAM)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAM)-1, matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and nitric oxide (NO) caused by METH. These responses were related to the decrease of the expression and translocation of the NF-κB p65 subunit and the activity of NADPH oxidase (NOX)-2. In addition, melatonin promoted the antioxidant processes, modulated the expression and translocation of Nrf2, and also increased the level of heme oxygenase (HO)-1, NAD (P) H: quinone oxidoreductase (NQO)-1, γ-glutamylcysteine synthase (γ-GCLC), and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) through NOX2 mechanism. In addition, we found that the protective role of melatonin in METH-induced inflammatory responses in the BBB was mediated through melatonin receptors (MT1/2). We concluded that the interaction of melatonin with its receptor prevented METH-induced inflammatory responses by suppressing the NF-κB signaling and promoting the Nrf2 signaling before BBB impairment. PMID:27268413

  9. Relation between residential magnetic fields, light-at-night, and nocturnal urine melatonin levels in women: Volume 2 -- Magnetic field exposure analysis. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Kaune, W.; Davis, S.; Stevens, R.

    1997-11-01

    Scientists have postulated a link between exposure to magnetic fields and reduced blood melatonin levels. This EPRI study was designed to supplement a National Cancer Institute study (NCI-BC) of magnetic fields, light-at-night, and the risk of breast cancer. By expanding the exposure assessment of the NCI-BC and collecting data on urine melatonin levels, this project provides new insight into a possible magnetic field-melatonin link. It has been proposed that exposure to 60-Hz (power frequency) magnetic fields may increase the risk of breast cancer by suppressing the normal nocturnal rise in melatonin production in the pineal gland. It remains unknown whether the human pineal gland is reproducibly responsive or sensitive to magnetic field exposure, and whether such exposures could alter elements of the endogenous hormonal environment in women that might be important in the etiology of breast cancer. The objective of this research was to investigate whether exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields and/or light-at-night is associated with levels of the primary urinary melatonin metabolite in women without a history of breast cancer.

  10. Decreased melatonin levels and increased levels of advanced oxidation protein products in the seminal plasma are related to male infertility.

    PubMed

    Kratz, Ewa Maria; Piwowar, Agnieszka; Zeman, Michal; Stebelová, Katarína; Thalhammer, Theresia

    2016-03-01

    Melatonin, an indolamine secreted by the pineal gland, is known as a powerful free-radical scavenger and wide-spectrum antioxidant. Therefore, the aim of this study was to correlate markers of oxidative protein damage (advanced oxidation protein products, AOPPs) and the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) with melatonin levels in the seminal plasma of men with azoospermia (n=37), theratozoospermia (n=29) and fertile controls (normozoospermia, n=37). Melatonin concentration was measured by radioimmunoassay. The levels of AOPP as well as TAC efficiency (determined by the ferric reducing antioxidant power, FRAP) were estimated by spectrophotometric methods. The concentration of melatonin and AOPP significantly differed in azoospermic (P<0.0001) and theratozoospermic (P<0.0001) patients versus fertile men, and correlated negatively (r=-0.33, P=0.0016). The TAC levels were significantly higher in azoospermia than in theratozoospermia (P=0.0022) and the control group (P=0.00016). In azoospermia, the AOPP concentration was also significantly higher than that observed in theratozoospermia (P=0.00029). Decreased levels of melatonin together with elevated AOPP altered the oxidative-antioxidative balance in the ejaculate, thereby reducing fertility. Therefore, melatonin and AOPP levels may serve as additional diagnostic markers of semen quality and male reproductive potential. PMID:25218686