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Sample records for pineal neurohormone melatonin

  1. A randomised study with subcutaneous low-dose interleukin 2 alone vs interleukin 2 plus the pineal neurohormone melatonin in advanced solid neoplasms other than renal cancer and melanoma.

    PubMed Central

    Lissoni, P.; Barni, S.; Tancini, G.; Ardizzoia, A.; Ricci, G.; Aldeghi, R.; Brivio, F.; Tisi, E.; Rovelli, F.; Rescaldani, R.

    1994-01-01

    Our previous experimental studies have shown that the best approach to increase the biological anti-tumour activity of interleukin 2 (IL-2) is not co-administration of another cytokine, but the association with immunomodulating neurohormones, in an attempt to reproduce the physiological links between psychoendocrine and immune systems, which play a fundamental role in the regulation of the immune responses. In particular, the association with the pineal neurohormone melatonin (MLT) has been shown to cause tumour regressions in neoplasms that are generally non-responsive to IL-2 alone. To confirm these preliminary results, a clinical trial was performed in locally advanced or metastatic patients with solid tumours other than renal cell cancer and melanoma. The study included 80 consecutive patients, who were randomised to be treated with IL-2 alone subcutaneously (3 million IU day-1 at 8.00 p.m. 6 days a week for 4 weeks) or IL-2 plus MLT (40 mg day-1 orally at 8.00 p.m. every day starting 7 days before IL-2). A complete response was obtained in 3/41 patients treated with IL-2 plus MLT and in none of the patients receiving IL-2 alone. A partial response was achieved in 8/41 patients treated with IL-2 plus MLT and in only 1/39 patients treated with IL-2 alone. Tumour objective regression rate was significantly higher in patients treated with IL-2 and MLT than in those receiving IL-2 alone (11/41 vs 1/39, P < 0.001). The survival at 1 year was significantly higher in patients treated with IL-2 and MLT than in the IL-2 group (19/41 vs 6/39, P < 0.05). Finally, the mean increase in lymphocyte and eosinophil number was significantly higher in the IL-2 plus MLT group than in patients treated with IL-2 alone; on the contrary, the mean increase in the specific marker of macrophage activation neopterin was significantly higher in patients treated with IL-2 alone. The treatment was well tolerated in both groups of patients. This study shows that the concomitant administration

  2. Peripheral autonomic nerves of human pineal organ terminate on vessels, their supposed role in the periodic secretion of pineal melatonin.

    PubMed

    Manzano E Silva, Maria Joao; Singh, Royana; Haldar, Chandana; Vigh, Béla; Szél, Ágoston

    2012-08-01

    of the organ and support by this effect the secretion of pineal neurohormones including melatonin. © 2012 The Authors APMIS © 2012 APMIS.

  3. Effect of calcium on melatonin secretion in chick pineal gland I.

    PubMed

    Pablos, M I; Agapito, M T; Gutierrez-Baraja, R; Reiter, R J; Recio, J M

    1996-10-18

    Melatonin is the neurohormone which is synthesized by the pineal gland and secreted rhythmically. The role of calcium in the activation of melatonin production remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that calcium input participates in the regulation of chick pineal gland. Pineal glands from Gallus domesticus were perifuse with Krebs medium (controls) or with Krebs medium plus drugs (ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) or calcium ionophore A23187). When EGTA was added to the perifusion medium, free extracellular calcium concentrations were dramatically decreased and melatonin synthesis was decreased. On the other hand, when the calcium ionophore A23187 was added to the perifusion medium, chick pineal glands exhibited a marked increase in secretion of melatonin. No effects were observed when chick pineal glands were treated with drugs during or after the time of the natural peak levels. We propose that calcium input from extracellular medium and output from intracellular calcium reserves are primary mechanisms in the activation of melatonin synthesis in the chick pineal gland.

  4. Local corticosterone infusion enhances nocturnal pineal melatonin production in vivo.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, P A C M; Bothorel, B; Clesse, D; Monteiro, A W A; Calgari, C; Raison, S; Simonneaux, V; Markus, R P

    2009-02-01

    Melatonin, an important marker of the endogenous rhythmicity in mammals, also plays a role in the body defence against pathogens and injuries. In vitro experiments have shown that either pro- or anti-inflammatory agents, acting directly in the organ, are able to change noradrenaline-induced pineal indoleamine production. Whereas corticosterone potentiates melatonin production, incubation of the gland with tumour necrosis factor-alpha decreases pineal hormonal production. In the present study, we show that nocturnal melatonin production measured by intra-pineal microdialysis is enhanced in pineals perfused with corticosterone at concentrations similar to those measured in inflamed animals. In vitro experiments suggest that this enhancement may be due to an increase in the activity of the two enzymes that convert serotonin to N-acetylserotonin (NAS) and NAS to melatonin. The present results support the hypothesis that the pineal gland is a sensor of inflammation mediators and that it plays a central role in the control of the inflammatory response.

  5. The reno-pineal axis: A novel role for melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Kalra, Sanjay; Agrawal, Swati; Sahay, Manisha

    2012-01-01

    The pineal gland is a tiny endocrine gland whose physiologic role has been the focus of much research and much more speculation over the past century. This mini-review discusses recent findings which correlate melatonin and renal physiology, and postulates the presence of a “reno-pineal axis.” Drawing lessons from comparative endocrinology, while quoting human data, it advocates the need to study the “reno-pineal axis” in greater detail. PMID:22470854

  6. 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.

  7. Melatonin and cortisol secretion profile in patients with pineal cyst before and after pineal cyst resection.

    PubMed

    Májovský, Martin; Řezáčová, Lenka; Sumová, Alena; Pospíšilová, Lenka; Netuka, David; Bradáč, Ondřej; Beneš, Vladimír

    2017-05-01

    A pineal cyst is a benign affection of the human pineal gland on the borderline between pathology and normality. Only a small percentage of patients present with symptoms and a surgical treatment is indicated in highly selected cases. A melatonin secretion in patients with a pineal cyst before and after a pineal cyst resection has not been studied yet and the effect of surgery on human metabolism is unknown. The present study examined melatonin, cortisol and blood glucose secretion profiles perioperatively in a surgical group of 4 patients. The control group was represented by 3 asymptomatic patients with a pineal cyst. For each patient, 24-h circadian secretion curves of melatonin, cortisol and glycemia were acquired. An analysis of melatonin profiles showed an expected diurnal pattern with the night peak in patients before the surgery and in the control group. In contrast, melatonin levels in patients after the surgery were at their minimum throughout the whole 24-h period. The cortisol secretion was substantially increased in patients after the surgery. Blood glucose sampling showed no statistically significant differences. Clinical results demonstrated statistically significant headache relief measured by Visual Analogue Scale in patients after the surgery. Despite the small number of examined patients, we can conclude that patients with a pineal cyst preserved the physiological secretion of the hormone melatonin while patients who underwent the pineal cyst resection experienced a loss of endogenous pineal melatonin production, which equated with pinealectomy. Surprisingly, cortisol secretion substantially increased in patients after the surgery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Posttranscriptional regulation of pineal melatonin synthesis in Octodon degus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Soo Jung; Liu, Tiecheng; Chattoraj, Asamanja; Zhang, Samantha L; Wang, Lijun; Lee, Theresa M; Wang, Michael M; Borjigin, Jimo

    2009-08-01

    Small laboratory animals have provided significant information about melatonin regulation, yet most of these organisms are nocturnal and regulate melatonin synthesis by mechanisms that diverge from those of humans. For example, in all rodents examined, melatonin secretion occurs with a time lag of several hours after the onset of darkness; in addition, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the key enzyme in melatonin synthesis, displays dynamic transcriptional activation specifically at night in all rodents studied to date. In ungulates and primates including humans, on the other hand, melatonin secretion occurs immediately during the early night and is controlled by circadian posttranscriptional regulation of AANAT. We hypothesize that the diurnal Octodon degus (an Hystricognath rodent) could serve as an improved experimental model for studies of human melatonin regulation. To test this, we monitored melatonin production in degus using pineal microdialysis and characterized the regulation of melatonin synthesis by analyzing degu Aanat. Degu pineal melatonin rises with little latency at night, as in ungulates and primates. In addition, degu Aanat mRNA expression displays no detectable diurnal variation, suggesting that, like ungulates and primates, melatonin in this species is regulated by a posttranscriptional mechanism. Compared with AANAT from all rodents examined to date, the predicted amino acid sequence of degu AANAT is phylogenetically more closely related to ungulate and primate AANAT. These data suggest that Octodon degus may provide an ideal model system for laboratory investigation of mechanisms of melatonin synthesis and secretion in diurnal mammals.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Pineal melatonin synthesis is altered in Period1 deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Christ, E; Pfeffer, M; Korf, H W; von Gall, C

    2010-12-01

    Melatonin is an important endocrine signal for darkness in mammals. Transcriptional activation of the arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase gene encoding for the penultimate enzyme in melatonin synthesis drives the daily rhythm of the hormone in the pineal gland of rodents. Rhythmic arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression is controlled by the cAMP-signal transduction pathway and involves the activation of β-adrenergic receptors and the inducible cAMP early repressor. In addition, the rat arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase promoter contains an E-box element which can interact with clock proteins. Moreover, the pineal gland of mice shows a circadian rhythm in clock proteins such as the transcriptional repressor Period1, which has been shown to control rhythmic gene expression in a variety of tissues. However, the role of Period1 in the regulation of pineal melatonin synthesis is still unknown. Therefore, circadian rhythms in arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase, β-adrenergic receptor, and inducible cAMP early repressor mRNA levels (real time PCR), arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase enzyme activity (radiometric assay) and melatonin concentration radio immuno assay (RIA) were analyzed in the pineal gland of mice with a targeted deletion of the Period1 gene (Per1-/-) and the corresponding wildtype. In Per1-/- the amplitude in arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression was significantly elevated as compared to wildtype. In contrast, β-adrenergic receptor and inducible cAMP early repressor mRNA levels were not affected by the Period1-deficiency. This indicates that the molecular clockwork alters the amplitude of arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression. In vitro, pineal glands of Per1-/- mice showed a day night difference in arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression with high levels at night. This suggests that a deficient in Period1 elicits similar effects as the activation of the cAMP-signal transduction pathway in wildtype mice.

  12. Injury switches melatonin production source from endocrine (pineal) to paracrine (phagocytes) - melatonin in human colostrum and colostrum phagocytes.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Gerlândia N; Cardoso, Elaine C; Carneiro-Sampaio, Magda M S; Markus, Regina P

    2006-09-01

    A large number of data show that melatonin has immunomodulatory properties and is produced by immunocompetent cells; also, some evidence suggests a 'feedback' of the activated immune system on the pineal gland. In this paper, we studied immune-pineal interactions in colostrum obtained from healthy puerperae and mothers with mastitis taking into account that, (a) melatonin levels in milk reflects pineal activity and (b) colostrum quiescent mononuclear and polymorphonuclear phagocytes from healthy mothers in culture are adequate for evaluating the ability of immunocompetent cells to produce melatonin. Here we compared the diurnal and nocturnal melatonin levels in colostrum from healthy puerperae and mothers with mastitis; this is a unique noninvasive model for determining pineal activity in the proinflammatory phase of a defense response. In addition, we determined the 'in vitro' production of melatonin by colostrum immunocompetent cells stimulated by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli or zymosan. Suppression of nocturnal melatonin rise in mothers with mastitis was highly correlated with increased tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) secretion. This result, interpreted taking into account the presence of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B in pineal gland, suggest that the proinflammatory cytokine can inhibit nocturnal pineal melatonin production. On the other hand, stimulated, but not quiescent, immunocompetent cells secreted in the colostrum produced melatonin in vitro. In addition, this production ceases after bacteria killing. These results suggest that during the response to an injury the production of melatonin can be transiently shifted from an endocrine (pineal) to a paracrine (immunocompetent cells) source.

  13. Rhythmic Melatonin Response of the Syrian Hamster Pineal Gland to Norepinephrine In Vitro and In Vivo

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-01-01

    INTRODUCTION Pineal melatonin synthesis in the rat is stimulated by the adrenergic neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) acting predominantly through a...prevent the normal nocturnal surge of pineal melatonin synthesis or of circulating or excreted melatonin in rats, Syrian hamsters, and humans [Ei...et al., 19851 increase daytime melatonin synthesis , an effect magnified by block- ing catecholamine uptake in the nerve endings or by prolonged light

  14. Leptin modulates norepinephrine-mediated melatonin synthesis in cultured rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Peliciari-Garcia, Rodrigo Antonio; Andrade-Silva, Jéssica; Cipolla-Neto, José; Carvalho, Carla Roberta de Oliveira

    2013-01-01

    Pineal melatonin synthesis can be modulated by many peptides, including insulin. Because melatonin appears to alter leptin synthesis, in this work we aimed to investigate whether leptin would have a role on norepinephrine- (NE-)mediated melatonin synthesis in cultured rat pineal glands. According to our data, cultured rat pineal glands express leptin receptor isoform b (Ob-Rb). Pineal expression of Ob-Rb mRNA was also observed in vivo. Administration of leptin (1 nM) associated with NE ( 1 µM) reduced melatonin content as well as arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase (AANAT) activity and expression in cultured pineal glands. Leptin treatment per se induced the expression of STAT3 in cultured pineal glands, but STAT3 does not participate in the leptin modulation of NE-mediated pineal melatonin synthesis. In addition, the expression of inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) was further induced by leptin challenge when associated with NE. In conclusion, leptin inhibition of pineal melatonin synthesis appears to be mediated by a reduction in AANAT activity and expression as well as by increased expression of Icer mRNA. Peptidergic signaling within the pineal gland appears to be one of the most important signals which modulates melatonin synthesis; leptin, as a member of this system, is not an exception.

  15. 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.

  16. Mechanisms regulating melatonin synthesis in the mammalian pineal organ.

    PubMed

    Schomerus, Christof; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2005-12-01

    The day/night rhythm in melatonin production is a characteristic feature in vertebrate physiology. This hormonal signal reliably reflects the environmental light conditions and is independent of behavioral aspects. In all mammalian species, melatonin production is regulated by norepinephrine, which is released from sympathetic nerve fibers exclusively at night. Norepinephrine elevates the intracellular cAMP concentration via beta-adrenergic receptors and activates the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A. This pathway is crucial for regulation of the penultimate enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis, the arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT); cAMP/protein kinase A may, however, act in different ways. In ungulates and primates, pinealocytes constantly synthesize AANAT protein from continually available Aanat mRNA. During the day-in the absence of noradrenergic stimulation-the protein is immediately destroyed by proteasomal proteolysis. At nighttime, elevated cAMP levels cause phosphorylation of AANAT by protein kinase A. This posttranslational modification leads to interaction of phosphorylated AANAT with regulatory 14-3-3 proteins, which protect AANAT from degradation. Increases in AANAT protein are paralleled by increases in enzyme activity. Stimulation of the cAMP/protein kinase A pathway may also activate pineal gene expression. In rodents, transcriptional activation of the Aanat gene is the primary mechanism for the induction of melatonin biosynthesis and results in marked day/night fluctuations in Aanat mRNA. It involves protein kinase A-dependent phosphorylation of the transcription factor cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and binding of phosphorylated CREB in the promoter region of the Aanat gene. In conclusion, a common neuroendocrine principle, the nocturnal rise in melatonin, is controlled by strikingly diverse regulatory mechanisms. This diversity has emerged in the course of evolution and reflects the high adaptive plasticity of the

  17. Evidence for differential photic regulation of pineal melatonin synthesis in teleosts.

    PubMed

    Migaud, H; Davie, A; Martinez Chavez, C C; Al-Khamees, S

    2007-11-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the circadian control of melatonin production in teleosts. To do so, the effects of ophthalmectomy on circulating melatonin rhythms were studied along with ex vivo pineal culture in six different teleosts. Results strongly suggested that the circadian control of melatonin production could have dramatically changed with at least three different systems being present in teleosts when one considers the photic regulation of pineal melatonin production. First, salmonids presented a decentralized system in which the pineal gland responds directly to light independently of the eyes. Then, in seabass and cod both the eyes and the pineal gland are required to sustain full night-time melatonin production. Finally, a third type of circadian control of melatonin production is proposed in tilapia and catfish in which the pineal gland would not be light sensitive (or only slightly) and required the eyes to perceive light and inhibit melatonin synthesis. Further studies (anatomical, ultrastructural, retinal projections) are needed to confirm these results. Ex vivo experiments indirectly confirmed these results, as while the pineal gland responded normally to day-night rhythms in salmonids, seabass and cod, only very low levels were obtained at night in tilapia and no melatonin could be measured from isolated pineal glands in catfish. Together, these findings suggest that mechanisms involved in the perception of light and the transduction of this signal through the circadian axis has changed in teleosts possibly as a reflection of the photic environment in which they have evolved in.

  18. Morphology and function: MR pineal volume and melatonin level in human saliva are correlated.

    PubMed

    Liebrich, Luisa-Sophie; Schredl, Michael; Findeisen, Peter; Groden, Christoph; Bumb, Jan Malte; Nölte, Ingo S

    2014-10-01

    To investigate the relation between circadian saliva melatonin levels and pineal volume as determined by MRI. Plasma melatonin levels follow a circadian rhythm with a high interindividual variability. In 103 healthy individuals saliva melatonin levels were determined at four time points within 24 h and MRI was performed once (3.0 Tesla, including three-dimensional T2 turbo spin echo [3D-T2-TSE], susceptibility-weighted imaging [SWI]). Pineal volume as well as cyst volume were assessed from multiplanar reconstructed 3D-T2-TSE images. Pineal calcification volume tissue was determined on SWI. To correct for hormonal inactive pineal tissue, cystic and calcified areas were excluded. Sleep quality was assessed with the Landeck Inventory for sleep quality disturbance. Solid and uncalcified pineal volume correlated to melatonin maximum (r = 0.28; P < 0.05) and area under the curve (r = 0.29; P < 0.05). Of interest, solid and uncalcified pineal volume correlated negatively with the sleep rhythm disturbances subscore (r = -0.17; P < 0.05) despite a very homogenous population. Uncalcified solid pineal tissue measured by 3D-T2-TSE and SWI is related to human saliva melatonin levels. The analysis of the sleep quality and pineal volume suggests a linkage between better sleep quality and hormonal active pineal tissue. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Evidence of immune system melatonin production by two pineal melatonin deficient mice, C57BL/6 and Swiss strains.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Corvera, Araceli; Cerrillo, Isabel; Molinero, Patrocinio; Naranjo, Maria Carmen; Lardone, Patricia Judith; Sanchez-Hidalgo, Marina; Carrascosa-Salmoral, Maria Pilar; Medrano-Campillo, Pablo; Guerrero, Juan Miguel; Rubio, Amalia

    2009-08-01

    We evaluated two pineal melatonin deficient mice described in the literature, i.e., C57BL/6 and Swiss mice, as animal models for studying the immunomodulatory action of melatonin. Plasma melatonin levels in C57BL/6 and Swiss strains were detectable, but lower than levels in control C3H/HENHSD mice. Since these strains are suppose to be pineal melatonin deficient an extrapineal melatonin synthesis may contribute to plasma levels. Regarding cells and tissues from the immune system, all of them were found to synthesize melatonin although at low levels. N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) mRNA was also amplified in order to analyze the alternative splicing between exons 3-4 described for pineal C57BL/6 mice which generates an inclusion of a pseudoexon of 102 bp. For the pineal gland, both the wild type and the mutant isoforms were present in all mice strains although in different proportions. We observed a predominant wild type AANAT mature RNA in thymus, spleen and bone marrow cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) culture shown an evident AANAT amplification in all strains studied. Although the bands detected were less intense in melatonin deficient mice, the amplification almost reached the control cell intensity after stimulation with phytohemaglutinin (PHA). In summary, melatonin detection and AANAT mRNA expression in inbred and outbred mice clearly indicate that different cells and tissues from the immune system are able to synthesize melatonin. Thus, the pineal defect seems not to be generalized to all tissues, suggesting that other cells may compensate the low pineal melatonin production contributing to the measurable plasma melatonin level.

  20. Circadian regulation of bird song, call, and locomotor behavior by pineal melatonin in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang; Harpole, Clifford E; Trivedi, Amit K; Cassone, Vincent M

    2012-04-01

    As both a photoreceptor and pacemaker in the avian circadian clock system, the pineal gland is crucial for maintaining and synchronizing overt circadian rhythms in processes such as locomotor activity and body temperature through its circadian secretion of the pineal hormone melatonin. In addition to receptor presence in circadian and visual system structures, high-affinity melatonin binding and receptor mRNA are present in the song control system of male oscine passeriform birds. The present study explores the role of pineal melatonin in circadian organization of singing and calling behavior in comparison to locomotor activity under different lighting conditions. Similar to locomotor activity, both singing and calling behavior were regulated on a circadian basis by the central clock system through pineal melatonin, since these behaviors free-ran with a circadian period and since pinealectomy abolished them in constant environmental conditions. Further, rhythmic melatonin administration restored their rhythmicity. However, the rates by which these behaviors became arrhythmic and the rates of their entrainment to rhythmic melatonin administration differed among locomotor activity, singing and calling under constant dim light and constant bright light. Overall, the study demonstrates a role for pineal melatonin in regulating circadian oscillations of avian vocalizations in addition to locomotor activity. It is suggested that these behaviors might be controlled by separable circadian clockworks and that pineal melatonin entrains them all through a circadian clock.

  1. Electrical stimulation of the hypothalamic nucleus paraventricularis mimics the effects of light on pineal melatonin synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Olcese, J.; Reuss, S.; Steinlechner, S.

    1987-02-02

    In an attempt to clarify further the role of the hypothalamic paraventricular nuclei (PVN) in the control of pineal function, the effects of 2 min electrical stimulation of these nuclei were investigated in acutely blinded, adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats. Pineal serotonin-N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity, melatonin content and catecholamine levels were measured by means of radio-enzymatic, radioimmunoassay and high-performance liquid-chromatography methods, respectively. All three pineal parameters underwent significant declines following brief PVN stimulation during the night time. These observations lend credence to the view that the neural pathways transmitting light information to the sympathetic innervation controlling pineal melatonin synthesis. 22 references, 1 figure.

  2. Pineal volume and evening melatonin in young people with affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Joanne S; Abelmann, Amy C; Hatton, Sean N; Robillard, Rébecca; Hermens, Daniel F; Bennett, Maxwell R; Lagopoulos, Jim; Hickie, Ian B

    2016-11-03

    Affective disorders in young people have been associated with disruptions in circadian rhythms, including abnormalities in secretion of the pineal hormone melatonin. Previous research reports relationships between pineal gland volumes, melatonin secretion, and sleep-wake cycles, but the relationship between these factors has not been explored in affective disorders. This study aimed to characterize these factors and explore associations with mood symptoms and functioning in a sample of young people with affective disorders. Pineal volume from magnetic resonance imaging and melatonin assay from evening dim-light saliva collection were evaluated in 50 individuals (15-30 years old; 72 % female) with bipolar, depressive, or anxiety disorders. Actigraphy monitoring was also conducted for approximately two weeks to derive sleep-wake measures. Pineal volume was associated with melatonin secretion across the evening, replicating previous findings in psychiatrically healthy individuals. Pineal volume was smaller in participants in which melatonin onset was not detected. Timing of melatonin secretion was related to sleep timing, but amount of melatonin and pineal volume were not related to any sleep-wake measures. A shorter phase angle between onset of melatonin secretion and sleep onset was associated with longer total sleep time. Lower melatonin levels were associated with poorer social and occupational functioning. Although pineal volume is not directly related to sleep disturbances or symptoms, melatonin may influence both sleep-wake cycles and functioning in the early stages of affective disorder. Causal links remain to be established, however, treatments that target circadian rhythms may be useful in improving functioning in young people with affective disorders.

  3. RGS2 is a feedback inhibitor of melatonin production in the pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Matsuo, Masahiro; Coon, Steven L; Klein, David C

    2013-05-02

    The 24-h rhythmic production of melatonin by the pineal gland is essential for coordinating circadian physiology. Melatonin production increases at night in response to the release of norepinephrine from sympathetic nerve processes which innervate the pineal gland. This signal is transduced through G-protein-coupled adrenergic receptors. Here, we found that the abundance of regulator of G-protein signaling 2 (RGS2) increases at night, that expression is increased by norepinephrine and that this protein has a negative feedback effect on melatonin production. These data are consistent with the conclusion that RGS2 functions on a daily basis to negatively modulate melatonin production.

  4. The role of the thalamus in sleep, pineal melatonin production, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

    PubMed

    Jan, James E; Reiter, Russel J; Wasdell, Michael B; Bax, Martin

    2009-01-01

    The thalamus has a strong nonphotic influence on sleep, circadian rhythmicity, pineal melatonin production, and secretion. The opening of the sleep gate for nonrapid eye movement sleep is a thalamic function but it is assisted by melatonin which acts by promoting spindle formation. Thus, melatonin has a modulatory influence on sleep onset and maintenance. A remarkable similarity exists between spindle behavior, circadian rhythmicity, and pineal melatonin production throughout life. Together, the thalamic and chronobiological control of sleep leads to a new and improved understanding of the pathophysiology of circadian rhythm sleep disorders and also of the principles of sleep hygiene interventions.

  5. Effect of electric field exposure on melatonin and enzyme circadian rhythms in the rat pineal

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-11-01

    The effects of chronic 30-day electric field exposure on pineal serotonin N-acetyl transferase (EC 2.1.15) activity as well as melatonin and 5-methoxy tryptophol (5-MTOL) concentrations in rats, were assessed.

  6. Pineal hypoplasia, reduced melatonin and sleep disturbance in patients with PAX6 haploinsufficiency.

    PubMed

    Hanish, Alyson E; Butman, John A; Thomas, Francine; Yao, Jianhua; Han, Joan C

    2016-02-01

    In rodent studies, paired box 6 (PAX6) appears to play an important role in the development of the pineal, the primary source of the circadian regulating hormone, melatonin. Pineal hypoplasia has been previously reported in patients with PAX6 haploinsufficiency (+/−); however, pineal measurement, melatonin concentrations and sleep quality have not been reported. This cross-sectional descriptive study examined pineal volume, melatonin secretion and sleep disturbance in 37 patients with PAX6+/− (age 15.3 ± 9.9 years) and 17 healthy controls (16.0 ± 7.2 years), within an inpatient setting at the Clinical Research Center of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Pineal volume was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging. Diurnal serum cortisol, serum melatonin and urine 6-sulphatoxymelatonin concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire was administered for patients <13 years old. Pineal volume was fivefold lower in PAX6+/− versus controls (mean ± SD: 25 ± 15 versus 129 ± 50 μL, P < 0.001). Midnight serum cortisol was similar in PAX6+/− versus controls (P = 0.14). Midnight serum melatonin was > twofold lower in PAX6+/− versus controls [median (25th-75 th): 28 (22-42) versus 71 (46-88) pg mL-(1), P < 0.001]. First morning void urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin was fourfold lower in PAX6+/− versus controls [11 (6-26) versus 45 (34-61) ng mg(-1) Cr, P = 0.001]. Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire score was higher in PAX6+/− versus controls (48 ± 6 versus 41 ± 5, P = 0.03). The current findings suggest that PAX6+/− is associated with smaller pineal size, lower melatonin secretion and greater parental report of sleep disturbances in children. Further studies are needed to explore the potential use of melatonin replacement for improving sleep quality in patients with PAX6+/−.

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

    PubMed

    Garcia, Rodrigo Antonio Peliciari; Afeche, Solange Castro; Scialfa, Julieta Helena; do Amaral, Fernanda Gaspar; dos Santos, Sabrina Heloísa José; Lima, Fabio Bessa; Young, Martin Elliot; Cipolla-Neto, José

    2008-01-02

    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 complex role for melatonin in influencing various physiological processes, including modulation of insulin secretion and action. In contrast, a role for insulin as a modulator of melatonin synthesis has not been investigated previously. The aim of the current study was to determine whether insulin modulates norepinephrine (NE)-mediated melatonin synthesis. The results demonstrate that insulin (10(- 8)M) potentiated norepinephrine-mediated melatonin synthesis and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPOH) activity in ex vivo incubated pineal glands. When ex vivo incubated pineal glands were synchronized (12h NE-stimulation, followed by 12h incubation in the absence of NE), insulin potentiated NE-mediated melatonin synthesis and arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) activity. Insulin did not affect the activity of hydroxyindole-O-methyltranferase (HIOMT), nor the gene expression of tpoh, aanat, or hiomt, under any of the conditions investigated. We conclude that insulin potentiates NE-mediated melatonin synthesis in cultured rat pineal gland, potentially through post-transcriptional events.

  8. Release and effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on rat pineal melatonin production in vitro.

    PubMed

    Rosenstein, R E; Chuluyan, H E; Pereyra, E N; Cardinali, D P

    1989-06-01

    1. 3H-gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) release elicited by a depolarizing K+ stimulus or by noradrenergic transmitter was examined in rat pineals in vitro. 2. The release of 3H-GABA was detectable at a 20 mM K+ concentration in medium and increased steadily up to 80 mM K+. 3. In a Ca2+-free medium 3H-GABA release elicited by 30 mM K+, but not that elicited by 50 mM K+, became blunted. 4. Norepinephrine (NE; 10(-6)-10(-4) M) stimulated 3H-GABA release from rat pineal explants in a dose-dependent manner. 5. The activity of 10(-5) M NE on pineal GABA release was suppressed by equimolecular amounts of prazosin or phentolamine (alpha 1- and alpha 1/alpha 2-adrenoceptor blockers, respectively) and was unaffected by propranolol (beta-adrenoceptor blocker). 6. The alpha 1-adrenoceptor agonist phenylephrine (10(-7)-10(-5) M) and the beta-adrenoceptor agonist isoproterenol (10(-5) M) mimicked the GABA releasing activity of NE, while 10(-7) M isoproterenol failed to affect it; the alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine (10(-7)-10(-5) M) did not modify 3H-GABA release. 7. The addition of 10(-4) M GABA or of the GABA transaminase inhibitor gamma-acetylenic GABA or aminooxyacetic acid inhibited the melatonin content and/or release to the medium in rat pineal organotypic cultures. 8. GABA at concentrations of 10(-5) M or greater partially inhibited the NE-induced increase in melatonin production by pineal explants. 9. The depressant effect of GABA on melatonin production was inhibited by the GABA type A receptor antagonist bicuculline; bicuculline alone increased the pineal melatonin content. Baclofen, a GABA type B receptor agonist, did not affect the pineal melatonin content or release. 10. The decrease in serotonin (5-HT) content of rat pineal explants brought about by NE was not modified by GABA; GABA by itself increased 5-HT levels. 11. These results indicate that (a) GABA is released from rat pineals by a depolarizing stimulus of K+ through a mechanism which is partially Ca2

  9. Effect of cortisol on melatonin production by the pineal organ of tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Nikaido, Yoshiaki; Aluru, Neelakanteswar; McGuire, Alison; Park, Yong-Ju; Vijayan, Mathilakath M; Takemura, Akihiro

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the involvement of cortisol on melatonin synthesis in the pineal organ of the Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus. The circulating levels of melatonin in this species exhibited daily variations with a decrease during the photophase (0600, 1200, and 1800 h) and an increase during the scotophase (0000 h), while cortisol levels peaked during the early photophase (0600 h). The pineal organ was cultured in vitro in the dark in the presence of cortisol mimicking either stressed (100 ng/mL) or resting (10 ng/mL) concentration in tilapia. High cortisol concentration significantly reduced the levels of melatonin secreted into the medium. In the fish reared under stressful conditions, the nocturnal circulating levels of cortisol increased significantly, while melatonin did not change significantly. We detected glucocorticoid receptor (GR) transcripts in the pineal organ and a quantitative real-time PCR revealed that this receptor mRNA abundance fluctuated diurnally, increasing at 0600, 1800, and 0000 h and decreasing at 1200 h. The GR mRNA abundance in the pineal organ was not altered either in vitro when the organ was cultured in the presence of 100 ng/mL cortisol or in vivo when the fish were reared under stressful conditions. On the basis of these findings, it is proposed that cortisol lowers melatonin synthesis in the pineal organ, while the role of GR signaling in this process remains to be established.

  10. How important is stimulation of alpha-adrenoceptors for melatonin production in rat pineal glands?

    PubMed

    Tobin, V A; McCance, I; Coleman, H A; Parkington, H C

    2002-05-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the role of alpha-adrenoceptors in melatonin production by rat pineal gland. Pineal glands were isolated from adult male rats and maintained in organ baths. The perfusate was sampled every 5 min, stored, and later assayed for melatonin. Exposure to norepinephrine (10 microM) or the beta-adrenoceptor agonist orciprenaline (2-10 microM) increased the glands' production of melatonin. The time courses of melatonin production in response to these agonists were unaffected by the rats' pretreatment in vivo with the alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin (2 mg/kg i.p., three times). Rats that had had their superior cervical ganglia removed were primed with either orciprenaline (2 mg/kg i.p) or both orciprenaline and phenylephrine (1 mg/kg i.p) 1 hr before decapitation. Exposure of the pineal glands from these rats to orciprenaline evoked melatonin release that was similar in each group. These results lend weight to the suggestion that the marked potentiation by alpha-adrenoceptor agonists of the stimulation of cAMP and N-acetyltransferase (NAT) by beta-adrenoceptor agonists, demonstrated most readily in cultured glands or dispersed rat pinealocytes, does not carry over into significant augmentation of melatonin production in intact pineal glands.

  11. 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.

  12. Lack of effect of ghrelin treatment on melatonin production in rat pineal and Harderian glands.

    PubMed

    Djeridane, Yasmina; Touitou, Yvan

    2005-04-01

    The effects of ghrelin, a peptide hormone secreted from the stomach, on melatonin remain unknown. The aim of the study was to investigate possible ghrelin-melatonin interactions by studying the effect of ghrelin treatment on melatonin production in rat pineal and Harderian glands. Young (9 weeks) and old (20 months) male Wistar rats, maintained under a light:dark cycle regimen of 12:12, were assigned randomly to either a single subcutaneous (s.c.) injection of saline or ghrelin (1 microg/rat or 15 microg/rat) 1 h before sacrifice in the middle of the dark phase, or repeated s.c. saline or ghrelin injections (15 microg/rat), 3, 2 and 1 h before sacrificed in the middle of the dark phase. Neither ghrelin doses (1 microg/rat or 15 microg/rat) nor type of treatment (acute or repeated) influenced melatonin levels or the melatonin synthesizing enzymes N-acetyltransferase and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activities, either in pineal gland or in Harderian glands. At the concentrations used, ghrelin does not influence melatonin production in rat pineal and Harderian glands, and therefore is not involved in the regulation of melatonin secretion, at least under our experimental conditions.

  13. Characterization of human pineal gland proteome.

    PubMed

    Yelamanchi, Soujanya D; Kumar, Manish; Madugundu, Anil K; Gopalakrishnan, Lathika; Dey, Gourav; Chavan, Sandip; Sathe, Gajanan; Mathur, Premendu P; Gowda, Harsha; Mahadevan, Anita; Shankar, Susarla K; Prasad, T S Keshava

    2016-11-15

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine gland located at the center of the brain. It is known to regulate various physiological functions in the body through secretion of the neurohormone melatonin. Comprehensive characterization of the human pineal gland proteome has not been undertaken to date. We employed a high-resolution mass spectrometry-based approach to characterize the proteome of the human pineal gland. A total of 5874 proteins were identified from the human pineal gland in this study. Of these, 5820 proteins were identified from the human pineal gland for the first time. Interestingly, 1136 proteins from the human pineal gland were found to contain a signal peptide domain, which indicates the secretory nature of these proteins. An unbiased global proteomic profile of this biomedically important organ should benefit molecular research to unravel the role of the pineal gland in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Regulation of melatonin production and intracellular calcium concentrations in the trout pineal organ.

    PubMed

    Meissl, H; Kroeber, S; Yáñez, J; Korf, H W

    1996-12-01

    The present in vitro study correlates measurements of the melatonin production from trout pineal organs with those of the intracellular calcium concentration in pinealocytes. Melatonin production increases with decreasing irradiance and shows maximal values in darkness. Some pinealocytes exhibit spontaneous calcium oscillations, although most of them have a stable basal calcium concentration. Diminishing extracellular calcium and enhancing magnesium reduces melatonin release in the light-and dark-adapted state. The application of Co2+ decreases melatonin secretion in the mesopic and scotopic range, reversibly blocks spontaneous calcium oscillations, reduces the basal intracellular calcium concentration in non-oscillating pinealocytes, and inhibits the KCl-induced rise in intracellular calcium. Application of glutamate, norepinephrine, isoproterenol, or dopamine has no significant effect on melatonin secretion. Norepinephrine does not influence the calcium concentration in any of the trout pinealocytes. Treatment with the GABAA-receptor agonist muscimol causes a slight reduction of melatonin release in the mesopic and scotopic range of illumination, without affecting intracellular calcium concentrations. Thus, Co2+ and low calcium/high magnesium buffer reduce melatonin release through an action on the calcium concentration in trout pinealocytes and not through a blockade of synaptic transmission. All the data show that the trout pineal organ synthesizes and releases melatonin in relation to the irradiance of the incident light and that neuronal inputs have a minor, if any, influence on melatonin synthesis.

  15. 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.

  16. Pineal perfusion with calcium channel blockers inhibits differently daytime and nighttime melatonin production in rat.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Z Y; Touitou, Y

    1994-05-01

    In a previous study we have shown that the response of perifused pineal glands to calcium was different according to the circadian stage at which the glands were removed. This difference may be explained by circadian changes in calcium channel function. Therefore in the present study we documented the effects of calcium channel blockers in perifused rat pineal glands removed in the middle of the light and dark spans (7 and 19 HALO (hours after light onset), in a L/D 12:12 regimen). Moreover, we have studied the effect of calcium channel blockers on adrenergically stimulated pineal glands removed 7 HALO. Inorganic (Co2+ and Cd2+) and organic (nifedipine and diltiazem) calcium channel blockers at 10(-4) mol/l all significantly reduced melatonin production and this inhibition was more effective with the glands removed 7 HALO. In a concentration of 10(-)5 mol/l, only Cd2+ and diltiazem reduced melatonin production significantly in pineal glands removed 7 HALO. Verapamil at 10(-4) and 10(-5) mol/l showed no significant effect on melatonin production in glands removed both during the light and dark spans. Mn2+ at 10(-4) mol/l (but not at 10[-5] mol/l) appeared to stimulate melatonin production in glands removed both during the light and the dark (significant increase only with glands removed during the dark). Cobalt showed an immediate short inhibitory effect on both isoproterenol and norepinephrine-stimulated melatonin release, whereas nifedipine showed a significant inhibition only on isoproterenol-stimulated melatonin release. These results strongly suggest a circadian stage dependence of the pineal gland response to some calcium channel blockers and the involvement of calcium in the release of melatonin from pinealocytes.

  17. The effect of light on melatonin secretion in the cultured pineal glands of Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Moore, Ashli F; Menaker, Michael

    2011-10-01

    Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, is important for regulating circadian rhythms in many animals. Light at night causes an acute suppression of melatonin in nearly all vertebrate species. A previous study found that light failed to suppress melatonin in the lizard Anolis carolinensis. This is a surprising result given that the Anolis pineal gland is intrinsically photosensitive, is a key pacemaker controlling locomotor activity, and can be directly entrained to a light-dark cycle. To find out if the lack of photic suppression is widespread in the Anolis genus, we investigated the acute effects of light on melatonin secretion in five different species of Anolis using flow-through tissue culture. We administered a two-hour pulse of bright light to isolated pineal glands during the night. The results show photic suppression of melatonin in all five Anolis species, but the suppression is weak relative to that seen in other vertebrates. Moreover, Anolis species differ in the magnitude of the effect. These findings are discussed in the context of vertebrate pineal evolution and the ecology of Anolis lizards. Given their extensive phylogenetic and ecological divergence, Anolis lizards provide a promising system for investigating the ecology and evolution of circadian organization.

  18. 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.

  19. Melatonin rhythms in the Australian freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni): a reptile lacking a pineal complex?

    PubMed

    Firth, Bruce T; Christian, Keith A; Belan, Ingrid; Kennaway, David J

    2010-01-01

    The vertebrate pineal gland is the primary source of melatonin, the rhythmic secretion of which is influenced by environmental light and temperature, thereby providing animals with information about seasonally changing photoperiod and thermoperiod. Although pineal glands are present in the majority of vertebrate species, a discrete organ is reported to be absent in the Crocodilia. However, if the melatonin rhythm is crucial to the survival of the organism, it would be expected that the rhythm would be present in crocodiles. In the present study, we measured blood plasma melatonin over a 30-h period in aestivating Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) in their natural habitat at the end of the dry season (November) and found no discernible melatonin rhythm. However, another group of captive-reared C. johnstoni, maintained under natural light and temperature cycles and sampled in the early dry season (June) showed a clear melatonin rhythm. These results suggest that there is either an extrapineal source of melatonin in this crocodile species or that there is melatonin producing tissue elsewhere which heretofore has not been discovered. Further studies are needed to determine why the melatonin rhythm is intermittently expressed and whether this may be related to seasonal changes in the expression of the rhythm linked to tropical environments.

  20. Pineal melatonin and the innate immune response: the TNF-alpha increase after cesarean section suppresses nocturnal melatonin production.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Gerlândia N; Cardoso, Elaine C; Carneiro-Sampaio, Magda M S; Markus, Regina P

    2007-11-01

    The nocturnal surge of melatonin is the endocrine expression of the circadian system and is essential for organizing the timing of various endogenous processes. Previous works suggest that, in the beginning of a defense response, the increase in circulating tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) leads to a transient block of nocturnal melatonin production and promotes a disruption of internal time organization. In the present paper, the concentration of melatonin and cytokines [TNF-alpha, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-12] in the colostrum (postdelivery day 3) and in the milk (postdelivery days 10, 15, 20 and 30) obtained at midday and midnight from mothers who gave birth by vaginal or cesarean section were compared. The nocturnal melatonin surge observed 3 days after vaginal delivery was absent after cesarean section. IL-12 presented no daily variation in either case, while daily variations in IFN-gamma, IL-10, IL-4 and IL-5 were observed after vaginal delivery and cesarean section. On the other hand, the increase in TNF-alpha after cesarean section resulted in suppression of the nocturnal melatonin surge. Daily variation of IL-2 was only observed after recovery of the nocturnal melatonin surge, 30 days after cesarean section. The present paper supports the hypothesis of a cross-talk between the pineal gland and the immune system, which could represent a putative immune-pineal axis.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  2. Influence of sleep deprivation coupled with administration of melatonin on the ultrastructure of rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Lan, C T; Hsu, J C; Ling, E A

    2001-08-10

    The effects of sleep deprivation with or without melatonin treatment on the pineal morphology in rats were studied. Five days after sleep deprivation and using electron microscopy, many of the pinealocytes exhibited structural alterations including dilation of the cisternae of the rough/smooth endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi saccules and mitochondria, and an increase in the numbers of lipid droplets, vacuoles and dense-core vesicles. These features were considered as morphological evidence of increased synthesis or secretion by the pineal gland. In addition, numerous membranous profiles, considered to be degraded cellular organelles, were observed in some pinealocytes and sympathetic nerve terminals. It is suggested that the occurrence of degenerating organelles had resulted from the deleterious effect of sleep deprivation. This may be attributed to an overload of secretory activity of the pineal gland during stress elicited by the long-term sleep deprivation, leading to functional exhaustion and irreversible damage of the oxidation-related organelles. In sleep-deprived rats receiving a single injection of melatonin (10 mg/kg) for 5 consecutive days, the above features indicative of pinealocytic activation were attenuated. In fact, all signs of degeneration of cellular organelles were rarely found. These results suggest that the pineal gland is itself a target for exogenously administered melatonin. Thus, melatonin when administered systemically may be used as a potential neuroprotective drug against neuronal damage induced by sleep deprivation.

  3. 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

  4. Pineal Hypoplasia, Reduced Melatonin, and Sleep Disturbance in Patients with PAX6 Haploinsufficiency

    PubMed Central

    Hanish, Alyson E.; Butman, John A.; Thomas, Francine; Yao, Jianhua; Han, Joan C.

    2015-01-01

    Summary In rodent studies, paired box 6 (PAX6) appears to play an important role in the development of the pineal, the primary source of the circadian regulating hormone, melatonin. Pineal hypoplasia has been previously reported in patients with PAX6 haploinsufficiency (+/−); however, pineal measurement, melatonin concentrations and sleep quality have not been reported. This cross-sectional descriptive study examined pineal volume, melatonin secretion, and sleep disturbance in 37 patients with PAX6+/− (age 15.3±9.9 years) and 17 healthy controls (16.0±7.2 years), within an inpatient setting at the Clinical Research Center of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Pineal volume was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Diurnal serum cortisol, serum melatonin, and urine 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (6SM) concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) was administered for patients <13y. Pineal volume was 5-fold lower in PAX6+/− vs. controls (mean±SD: 25±15 vs. 129±50 μL, p<0.001). Midnight serum cortisol was similar in PAX6+/− vs. controls (p=0.14). Midnight serum melatonin was >2-fold lower in PAX6+/− vs. controls (median [25th–75th]: 28 [22–42] vs. 71 [46–88] pg/mL, p<0.001). First morning void urinary 6SM was 4-fold lower in PAX6+/− vs. controls (11 [6–26] vs. 45 [34–61] ng/mgCr, p=0.001). CSHQ score was higher in PAX6+/− vs. controls (48±6 vs. 41±5, p=0.03). Our findings suggest that PAX6+/− is associated with smaller pineal size, lower melatonin secretion, and greater parental report of sleep disturbances in children. Further studies are needed to explore the potential use of melatonin replacement for improving sleep quality in patients with PAX6+/−. PMID:26439359

  5. [The morphological response of the pineal gland of old animals on course of melatonin injections].

    PubMed

    Gubina-Vakulik, G I; Bondarenko, L A; Gevorkian, A R

    2009-01-01

    On the old (18-20 months) male rats of Wistar population the influence of the 10 days evening melatonin injections in physiological rang doses on morphological state pineal gland, was studied. It has been shown, that the course of melatonin injections to old rats brings appearance of histological pattern of pineal gland activation: increasing of area of pinealocytes nuclear and density of nuclear and cytoplasm with stein by hallocyanine on total nucleic acid that means stimulation to material both indole, and peptide nature production. Using of melatonin in dose 0.05 mg/kg mass of the body is sparing for pinealocytes of the old rats and slows the apoptosis processes on background of polyploidization. Using of melatonin in dose 0,5 mg/kg mass of the body causes cell's overstrain and induces the forced apoptosis. It's possible to suppose that the geroprotective effect of the evening injections of melatonin is increased due to stimulation of the biosynthesis of neuropeptides in pineal gland.

  6. Chronomics: circadian lead of extrapineal vs. pineal melatonin rhythms with an infradian hypothalamic exploration.

    PubMed

    Zeman, M; Józsa, R; Cornélissen, G; Stebelova, K; Bubenik, G; Olah, A; Poeggeler, B; Huether, G; Hardeland, R; Nagy, G; Czernus, V; Pan, W; Otsuka, K; Halberg, F

    2005-10-01

    A circadian rhythm is documented for plasma, pineal, and hypothalamic melatonin of male and female rats kept on staggered lighting regimens. Log[_10]-transformation of the data usually normalizes, when need be, the distribution of residuals from the 24-hour cosine curve fits. A tentative circadian acrophase chart is presented that shows a lead in circadian acrophase of duodenal over pineal melatonin. The use of antiphasic lighting regimens facilitates circadian studies that can be carried out for several days, thereby allowing the assessment of infradian components such as a circasemiseptan variation in hypothalamic melatonin documented herein. The results are qualified by the presence of a second extremum of a double magnetic storm at the start of mapping.

  7. L-aspartate-evoked inhibition of melatonin production in rat pineal glands.

    PubMed

    Yamada, H; Yamaguchi, A; Moriyama, Y

    1997-06-06

    Our previous studies in rat indicated that pinealocytes secrete L-glutamate through microvesicle-mediated exocytosis to regulate negatively melatonin production. Recently, we further found that pinealocytes secrete L-aspartate through microvesicle-mediated exocytosis. In the present study, we investigated the role of L-aspartate in the melatonin production in isolated rat pineal glands. It was found that L-aspartate inhibits norepinephrine-stimulated melatonin production as well as serotonin N-acetyltransferase activity reversibly and dose-dependently, the concentrations required for 50% inhibition being 150 and 175 microM, respectively. L-Asparagine and oxaloacetate, metabolites of L-aspartate, had no effect on the melatonin production. These results suggest that pinealocytes use L-aspartate, as well as L-glutamate, as a negative regulator for melatonin production.

  8. 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.

  9. Adrenergic and cholinergic regulation of in vitro melatonin release during ontogeny in the pineal gland of Long Evans rats.

    PubMed

    Wagner, G; Brandstätter, R; Hermann, A

    2000-09-01

    Melatonin, produced by the pineal gland, plays an important role in a great variety of neuroendocrine functions. The rhythmic release of melatonin by the mammalian pineal gland is regulated by norepinephrine (NE) acting via alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors utilizing distinct signal transduction pathways. Acetylcholine has been demonstrated to exert various effects in the mammalian pineal gland, including an inhibitory action on the NE-induced stimulation of melatonin production. However, data obtained by different laboratories on the interaction of adrenergic receptors are not consistent and whether muscarinic and/or nicotinic receptors participate in the various effects of acetylcholine is still contradictory. To investigate noradrenergic as well as cholinergic mechanisms during ontogeny, we have investigated in vitro melatonin release from isolated pineal glands of Long Evans rats of different ages. NE as well as the beta-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (ISO) significantly elevated the melatonin release in pineal glands from postnatal week 2 on. In pineal glands originating from 2- to 4-week-old rats, simultaneous activation of alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors by ISO and the alpha-adrenergic receptor agonist methoxamine (MET) or NE resulted in significantly weaker stimulation of melatonin production than beta-receptor activation alone. Acetylcholine evoked a significant increase in melatonin release in pineal glands from 2- to 4-week-old rats. In pineal glands from 8- to 20-week-old animals, ISO, ISO + MET or NE stimulated pineal melatonin release to comparable maxima, whereas acetylcholine was without effect. Our data indicate (1) that the adrenergic stimulation of pineal melatonin production in Long Evans rats is dominated by a beta-adrenergic mechanism, (2) that additional alpha-adrenergic receptor activation is inhibitory and (3) dependent on the developmental status of the animal, and (4) that acetylcholine acting via muscarinic receptors

  10. Homeobox genes and melatonin synthesis: regulatory roles of the cone-rod homeobox transcription factor in the rodent pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Rohde, Kristian; Møller, Morten; Rath, Martin Fredensborg

    2014-01-01

    Nocturnal synthesis of melatonin in the pineal gland is controlled by a circadian rhythm in arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) enzyme activity. In the rodent, Aanat gene expression displays a marked circadian rhythm; release of norepinephrine in the gland at night causes a cAMP-based induction of Aanat transcription. However, additional transcriptional control mechanisms exist. Homeobox genes, which are generally known to encode transcription factors controlling developmental processes, are also expressed in the mature rodent pineal gland. Among these, the cone-rod homeobox (CRX) transcription factor is believed to control pineal-specific Aanat expression. Based on recent advances in our understanding of Crx in the rodent pineal gland, we here suggest that homeobox genes play a role in adult pineal physiology both by ensuring pineal-specific Aanat expression and by facilitating cAMP response element-based circadian melatonin production.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 1800 MHz electromagnetic field effects on melatonin release from isolated pineal glands.

    PubMed

    Sukhotina, Irina; Streckert, Joachim R; Bitz, Andreas K; Hansen, Volkert W; Lerchl, Alexander

    2006-01-01

    Isolated pineal glands of Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) were continuously perifused by Krebs-Ringer buffer, stimulated with the beta-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol to induce melatonin synthesis, and exposed for 7 hr to a 1800 MHz continuous wave (CW) or pulsed GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)-modulated electromagnetic signal at specific absorption rate (SAR) rates of 8, 80, 800, and 2700 mW/kg. Experiments were performed in a blind fashion. Perifusate samples were collected every hour, and melatonin concentrations were measured by a specific radioimmunoassay. Both types of signal significantly enhanced melatonin release at 800 mW/kg SAR, while at 2700 mW/kg SAR, melatonin levels were elevated in the CW, but suppressed in the GSM-exposed pineal glands. As a temperature rise of approximately 1.2 degrees C was measured at 2700 mW/kg SAR, effects at this level are thermal. With regard to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, the data do not support the 'melatonin hypothesis,' according to which nonthermal exposure suppresses melatonin synthesis.

  13. Increased melatonin synthesis in pineal glands of rats in streptozotocin induced type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Peschke, Elmar; Wolgast, Sabine; Bazwinsky, Ivonne; Pönicke, Klaus; Muhlbauer, Eckhard

    2008-11-01

    It is well-documented that melatonin influences insulin secretion. The effects are mediated by specific, high-affinity, pertussis-toxin-sensitive, G protein-coupled membrane receptors (MT(1) as well MT(2)), which are present in both the pancreatic tissue and islets of rats and humans, as well as in rat insulinoma cells (INS1). Via the Gi-protein-adenylatecyclase-3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and, possibly, the guanylatecyclase-cGMP pathways, melatonin decreases insulin secretion, whereas, by activating the Gq-protein-phospholipase C-IP(3) pathway, it has the opposite effect. For further analysis of the interactions between melatonin and insulin, diabetic rats were investigated with respect to melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland and plasma insulin levels. In this context, recent investigations have proven that type 2 diabetic rats and humans display decreased melatonin levels, whereas type 1 diabetic IDDM rats or those with diabetes induced by streptozotocin (STZ) of the present study show increased plasma melatonin levels and elevated AA-NAT-mRNA. Furthermore, the mRNA of pineal insulin receptors and beta1-adrenoceptors, including the clock genes Per1 and Bmal1 and the clock-controlled output gene Dbp, increases in both young and middle-aged STZ rats. The results therefore indicate that the decreased insulin levels in STZ-induced type 1 diabetes are associated with higher melatonin plasma levels. In good agreement with earlier investigations, it was shown that the elevated insulin levels observed in type 2 diabetes, are associated with decreased melatonin levels. The results thus prove that a melatonin-insulin antagonism exists. Astonishingly, notwithstanding the drastic metabolic disturbances in STZ-diabetic rats, the diurnal rhythms of the parameters investigated are maintained.

  14. A 5-HT(1B) receptor agonist inhibits light-induced suppression of pineal melatonin production.

    PubMed

    Rea, M A; Pickard, G E

    2000-03-10

    Serotonin (5-HT) modulates the phase adjusting effects of light on the mammalian circadian clock through the activation of presynaptic 5-HT(1B) receptors located on retinal terminals in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The current study was conducted to determine whether activation of 5-HT(1B) receptors also alters photic regulation of nocturnal pineal melatonin production. Systemic administration of the 5-HT(1B) receptor agonist TFMPP attenuated the inhibitory effect of light on pineal melatonin synthesis in a dose-related manner with an apparent ED(50) value of 0.9 mg/kg. The effect of TFMPP on light-induced melatonin suppression was blocked by the 5-HT(1) receptor antagonist, methiothepin, but not by the 5-HT(1A) antagonist, WAY 100,635, consistent with the involvement of 5-HT(1B) receptors. The results are consistent with the interpretation that activation of presynaptic 5-HT(1B) receptors on retinal terminals in the SCN attenuates the effect of light on pineal melatonin production, as well as on circadian phase.

  15. The ontogeny of pineal and serum melatonin in male rats at mid-light and mid-dark.

    PubMed

    Tang, P L; Pang, S F

    1988-01-01

    The levels of pineal and serum melatonin at mid-light and mid-dark of male rats under a photoperiod of 12h light:12 h darkness with age ranging from day 1 to day 42 postpartum were determined. At mid-dark, pineal melatonin levels were found to increase with age; when the body weight was considered, an early developmental rise (1-to-9-day old), an active period (11- to 17-day old), and a period of lower levels (after 21-day-old) were noted. Serum melatonin levels at mid-dark showed similar changes to the latter. At mid-light, this pattern of change was also present in pineal melatonin contents relative to body weight but was absent in serum melatonin levels. Our study indicated that weaning was not responsible for the pre-pubertal decline in pineal melatonin secretion. It was suggested that these changes in the secretory pattern of pineal melatonin may play a role in the development of the reproductive system in rats.

  16. Increased delta aminolevulinic acid and decreased pineal melatonin production. A common event in acute porphyria studies in the rat.

    PubMed

    Puy, H; Deybach, J C; Bogdan, A; Callebert, J; Baumgartner, M; Voisin, P; Nordmann, Y; Touitou, Y

    1996-01-01

    Tryptophan (TRP) is the precursor of melatonin, the primary secretory product of the pineal gland. Hepatic heme deficiency decreases the activity of liver tryptophan pyrrolase, leading to increased plasma TRP and serotonin. As a paradox, patients with attacks of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), exhibit low nocturnal plasma melatonin levels. This study using a rat experimental model was designed to produce a pattern of TRP and melatonin production similar to that in AIP patients. Pineal melatonin production was measured in response to: (a) a heme synthesis inhibitor, succinylacetone, (b) a heme precursor, delta-aminolevulinic acid (Ala), (c) a structural analogue of Ala, gamma-aminobutyric acid. Studies were performed in intact rats, perifused pineal glands, and pinealocyte cultures. Ala, succinylacetone, and gamma-aminobutyric acid significantly decreased plasma melatonin levels independently of blood TRP concentration. In the pineal gland, the key enzyme activities of melatonin synthesis were unchanged for hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase and decreased for N-acetyltransferase. Our results strongly suggest that Ala overproduced by the liver acts by mimicking the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid on pineal melatonin in AIP. They also support the view that Ala acts as a toxic element in the pathophysiology of AIP.

  17. Amyloid β peptide directly impairs pineal gland melatonin synthesis and melatonin receptor signaling through the ERK pathway.

    PubMed

    Cecon, Erika; Chen, Min; Marçola, Marina; Fernandes, Pedro A C; Jockers, Ralf; Markus, Regina P

    2015-06-01

    Melatonin is the hormone produced by the pineal gland known to regulate physiologic rhythms and to display immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties. It has been reported that Alzheimer disease patients show impaired melatonin production and altered expression of the 2 G protein-coupled melatonin receptors (MTRs), MT₁ and MT₂, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. Here we evaluated whether this dysfunction of the melatonergic system is directly caused by amyloid β peptides (Aβ(1-40) and Aβ(1-42)). Aβ treatment of rat pineal glands elicited an inflammatory response within the gland, evidenced by the up-regulation of 52 inflammatory genes, and decreased the production of melatonin up to 75% compared to vehicle-treated glands. Blocking NF-κB activity prevented this effect. Exposure of HEK293 cells stably expressing recombinant MT₁ or MT₂ receptors to Aβ lead to a 40% reduction in [(125)I]iodomelatonin binding to MT₁. ERK1/2 activation triggered by MTRs, but not by the β₂-adrenergic receptor, was markedly impaired by Aβ in HEK293 transfected cells, as well as in primary rat endothelial cells expressing endogenous MTRs. Our data reveal the melatonergic system as a new target of Aβ, opening new perspectives to Alzheimer disease diagnosis and therapeutic intervention.

  18. The association between melatonin production and electrophysiology of the guinea pig pineal gland.

    PubMed

    McCance, I; Parkington, H C; Coleman, H A

    1996-09-01

    Melatonin production by isolated pineal glands from guinea pigs was examined under conditions that affect membrane potential or the firing of action potential-like spikes. In glands from superior cervical ganglionectomized animals, depolarization resulting from increasing extracellular potassium concentration to 100 mM did not initiate melatonin production, and it delayed the response to the beta-adrenoceptor agonist orciprenaline. In glands from intact animals melatonin production was initiated by exposure to 100 mM potassium with a time-course similar to the response to orciprenaline. A proportion of this response was propanol resistant, suggesting that the normal control of melatonin production may involve a neurotransmitter in addition to norepinephrine. Exposure to verapamil or nifedipine, or removal of extracellular calcium, previously shown to eliminate action potential-like spikes, did not substantially affect the increase in melatonin production induced by orciprenaline. Phenylephrine, which stimulates spiking, produced only a slight increase in melatonin production. It is concluded that the depolarization and the spiking are not closely related to the stimulation of melatonin production, but may relate principally to the secretion of a substance other than melatonin.

  19. Ethanol consumption and pineal melatonin daily profile in rats.

    PubMed

    Peres, Rafael; do Amaral, Fernanda Gaspar; Madrigrano, Thiago Cardoso; Scialfa, Julieta Helena; Bordin, Silvana; Afeche, Solange Castro; Cipolla-Neto, José

    2011-10-01

    It is well known that melatonin participates in the regulation of many important physiological functions such as sleep-wakefulness cycle, motor coordination and neural plasticity, and cognition. However, as there are contradictory results regarding the melatonin production diurnal profile under alcohol consumption, the aim of this paper was to study the phenomenology and mechanisms of the putative modifications on the daily profile of melatonin production in rats submitted to chronic alcohol intake. The present results show that rats receiving 10% ethanol in drinking water for 35 days display an altered daily profile of melatonin production, with a phase delay and a reduction in the nocturnal peak. This can be partially explained by a loss of the daily rhythm and the 25% reduction in tryptophan hydroxylase activity and, mainly, by a phase delay in arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase gene expression and a 70% reduction in its peak activity. Upstream in the melatonin synthesis pathway, the results showed that noradrenergic signaling is impaired as well, with a decrease in β1 and α1 adrenergic receptors' mRNA contents and in vitro sustained loss of noradrenergic-stimulated melatonin production by glands from alcohol-treated rats. Together, these results confirm the alterations in the daily melatonin profile of alcoholic rats and suggest the possible mechanisms for the observed melatonin synthesis modification. © 2011 The Authors, Addiction Biology © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  20. Novel functions for Period 3 and Exo-rhodopsin in rhythmic transcription and melatonin biosynthesis within the zebrafish pineal organ.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Lain X; Noche, Ramil R; Ponomareva, Olga; Chang, Christopher; Liang, Jennifer O

    2008-08-05

    Entrainment of circadian clocks to environmental cues such as photoperiod ensures that daily biological rhythms stay in synchronization with the Earth's rotation. The vertebrate pineal organ has a conserved role in circadian regulation as the primary source of the nocturnal hormone melatonin. In lower vertebrates, the pineal has an endogenous circadian clock as well as photoreceptive cells that regulate this clock. The zebrafish opsin protein Exo-rhodopsin (Exorh) is expressed in pineal photoreceptors and is a candidate to mediate the effects of environmental light on pineal rhythms and melatonin synthesis. We demonstrate that Exorh has an important role in regulating gene transcription within the pineal. In developing embryos that lack Exorh, expression of the exorh gene itself and of the melatonin synthesis gene serotonin N-acetyl transferase 2 (aanat2) are significantly reduced. This suggests that the Exorh protein at the cell membrane is part of a signaling pathway that positively regulates transcription of these genes, and ultimately melatonin production, in the pineal. Like many other opsin genes, exorh is expressed with a daily rhythm: mRNA levels are higher at night than during the day. We found that the transcription factor Orthodenticle homeobox 5 (Otx5) activates exorh transcription, while the putative circadian clock component Period 3 (Per3) represses expression during the day, thereby contributing to the rhythm of transcription. This work identifies novel roles for Exorh and Per3, and gives insight into potential interactions between the sensory and circadian systems within the pineal.

  1. Prolonged treatment with glucocorticoid dexamethasone suppresses melatonin production by the chick pineal gland and retina.

    PubMed

    Zawilska, Jolanta B; Sadowska, Magdalena

    2002-01-01

    The chick pineal gland and retina synthesize melatonin in a circadian rhythm with high levels during the night. The rhythmic changes in the hormone production result predominantly from the fluctuation in the activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT), a penultimate and key regulatory enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of an acute and prolonged in vivo treatment with a glucocorticoid dexamethasone (4 mg/kg, ip) on the nocturnal increase in AA-NAT activity in chick pineal gland and retina. In acute experiments, dexamethasone (single dose)-injected chicks were killed after 2 h, while in prolonged experiments the glucocorticoid was given once daily for 7 days and the animals were killed 26-32 h after the last injection. Acute administration of dexamethasone did not affect AA-NAT activity in the chick pineal gland and retina. In the pineal glands and retinas of chicks that were treated with dexamethasone for one week and then killed at the end of the light phase of the 12:12 h light-dark cycle, AA-NAT activity was significantly higher than the enzyme activity found in tissues isolated from the vehicle-treated (control) animals. In addition to that, the nocturnal increase in pineal and, to a lower extent, retinal AA-NAT activity was significantly lower in dexamethasone-treated birds when compared with the respective control groups. It is suggested that prolonged treatment of animals with dexamethasone reduces the amplitude of the rhythmic melatonin production, a phenomenon which may affect chronobiological processes being under control of this hormone.

  2. Melatonin and pineal gland peptides are able to correct the impairment of reproductive cycles in rats.

    PubMed

    Arutjunyan, Alexander; Kozina, Ljudmila; Milyutina, Yulia; Korenevsky, Andrew; Stepanov, Michael; Arutyunov, Vladimir

    2012-12-01

    Catecholamines play an important role in the hypothalamic regulation of the synthesis and secretion of gonadotropin- releasing hormone, or gonadoliberin. We have shown that melatonin and the pineal gland peptides (epithalamine and epitalon) exert a correcting influence on the diurnal dynamics of norepinephrine (NE) in the medial preoptic area (MPA) and of dopamine (DA) in the median eminence with arcuate nuclei (ME-Arc) disturbed by single administration of the neurotoxic xenobiotic 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) in female rats. It has been found that experiments with DMH administration can be used as an animal model of female reproductive system premature aging. The investigation of epithalamine (a polypeptide preparation from the bovine pineal gland) effect on circadian rhythms disturbed by the neurotoxic compound DMH has shown a recovery of the diurnal dynamics of NE in MPA. In addition, NE was found to decrease from 9:30 till 11 o'clock, Circadian Time (CT), which was typical of control animals. Epitalon (Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly) proved to be more effective in ME-Arc. This peptide prevents the xenobiotic caused disturbance of DA diurnal rhythm, keeping this metabolite low at 5 o'clock (CT) with it having increased by 11 o'clock (CT). The data obtained suggest that the pineal gland is important for the circadian signal normalization needed for gonadoliberin surge on the day of proestrus. Melatonin and peptides of the pineal gland can be considered as effective protectors of female reproductive system from xenobiotics and premature aging.

  3. Critical time delay of the pineal melatonin rhythm in humans due to weak electromagnetic exposure.

    PubMed

    Halgamuge, Malka N

    2013-08-01

    Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can increase free radicals, activate the stress response and alter enzyme reactions. Intracellular signalling is mediated by free radicals and enzyme kinetics is affected by radical pair recombination rates. The magnetic field component of an external EMF can delay the "recombination rate" of free radical pairs. Magnetic fields thus increase radical life-times in biological systems. Although measured in nanoseconds, this extra time increases the potential to do more damage. Melatonin regulates the body's sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that prolonged alterations in sleep patterns suppress the body's ability to make melatonin. Considerable cancer rates have been attributed to the reduction of melatonin production as a result of jet lag and night shift work. In this study, changes in circadian rhythm and melatonin concentration are observed due to the external perturbation of chemical reaction rates. We further analyze the pineal melatonin rhythm and investigate the critical time delay or maturation time of radical pair recombination rates, exploring the impact of the mRNA degradation rate on the critical time delay. The results show that significant melatonin interruption and changes to the circadian rhythm occur due to the perturbation of chemical reaction rates, as also reported in previous studies. The results also show the influence of the mRNA degradation rate on the circadian rhythm's critical time delay or maturation time. The results support the hypothesis that exposure to weak EMFs via melatonin disruption can adversely affect human health.

  4. 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.

  5. Enantioselective micro-2D-HPLC determination of aspartic acid in the pineal glands of rodents with various melatonin contents.

    PubMed

    Han, Hai; Miyoshi, Yurika; Oyama, Tsubasa; Konishi, Ryoko; Mita, Masashi; Hamase, Kenji

    2011-10-01

    Enantioselective determination of aspartic acid (Asp) in the pineal gland of rodents with various melatonin contents was performed using a highly sensitive and selective two-dimensional HPLC system. After derivatization of the amino group with 4-fluoro-7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole (NBD-F), NBD-Asp was separated using a capillary monolithic ODS column in the first dimension. The fraction of NBD-Asp was automatically collected and transferred to the second dimension, and the D- and L-Asp were separated and determined using a narrowbore enantioselective column. Large amounts of D-Asp were observed in the pineal gland of the rats and specific strains of mice (C3H and CBA) possessing a high concentration of melatonin in their pineal gland. On the other hand, the amounts of D-Asp were small in the pineal gland of mice possessing a trace or no melatonin in their pineal gland (ddY, ICR, C57BL and BALB/c). In other tissues and physiological fluids, no significant strain-dependent changes of the D-Asp amounts were observed. These results indicate that large amounts of D-Asp are present only in the pineal gland containing large amounts of melatonin, and special care should be taken when selecting mouse strains for the investigation of D-Asp.

  6. (+)-N-allylnormetazocine enhances N-acetyltransferase activity and melatonin synthesis: preliminary evidence for a functional role of sigma receptors in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Steardo, L; Monteleone, P; d'Istria, M; Serino, I; Maj, M; Cuomo, V

    1995-11-01

    In the present study, to evaluate the role that sigma receptors play in the physiology of the pineal gland, we assessed the effects of the sigma receptor ligand (+)-N-allylnormetazocine on the gland activity during either the day or the night. As compared to saline, (+)-N-allylnormetazocine enhanced the physiological increases in both pineal N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity and melatonin content at night, but it did not affect the biosynthetic activity of the gland during the day. Moreover, (+)-N-allylnormetazocine potentiated the enhancement of NAT activity and pineal melatonin content induced by isoproterenol administration during the day. The nocturnal stimulation of pineal NAT activity and melatonin levels by (+)-N-allylnormetazocine was prevented by pretreatment with rimcazole, a specific sigma receptor antagonist. These results demonstrate that sigma receptor activation by (+)-N-allylnormetazocine is not able, by itself, to stimulate pineal melatonin production, whereas it potentiates the biosynthetic activity of the pineal gland when this is stimulated noradrenergically.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. Calcium and melatonin production in dissociated trout pineal photoreceptor cells in culture.

    PubMed

    Bégay, V; Bois, P; Collin, J P; Lenfant, J; Falcón, J

    1994-07-01

    Trout pineal cells maintained in primary culture produce melatonin in high amounts during night time and low amounts during daytime. The dark-induced increase in melatonin production was enhanced, in a dose-dependent manner, by elevating extracellular calcium concentration. Low external calcium concentration reduced nocturnal and diurnal melatonin production. Bay K 8644 increased, in a dose-dependent manner, the dark-induced rise in melatonin output, and this effect was antagonized by nifedipine and verapamil. This suggests a role for the dihydropyridine calcium channels in the regulation of the melatonin output. To confirm this, patch-clamp recordings (whole-cell perforated) were run in a 20 mmol/l barium medium at different holding potentials from -80 mV. A voltage-dependent inward current was activated from -30 mV to +40 mV with a maximal amplitude being observed at 0 mV. This current was drastically increased in the presence of Bay K 8644. Nifedipine inhibited the current both in the absence or in the presence of Bay K 8644. Our results are consistent with the idea that extracellular calcium participates in the control of melatonin secretion by photoreceptor cells. It is suggested that activation of the voltage-dependent L-type channel may modulate this secretion.

  10. Caffeine and propranolol block the increase in rat pineal melatonin production produced by stimulation of adenosine receptors.

    PubMed

    Babey, A M; Palmour, R M; Young, S N

    1994-07-18

    The adenosine agonist 5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA) injected i.p. during the light period increased rat pineal melatonin levels and this increase was blocked by simultaneous administration of the non-selective adenosine receptor antagonist caffeine. A single dose of the adenosine A1 agonist cyclopentyladenosine had no effect on nocturnal melatonin production. The NECA-stimulated increase was also blocked by the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol. Given alone, neither caffeine nor propranolol had any effect on melatonin levels. The results point to an intermediate role for beta-adrenergic receptors in the adenosine-stimulated increase of melatonin production.

  11. Melatonin formation in pineal gland from rats with hexachlorobenzene experimental porphyria.

    PubMed

    Llambías, Elena B C; Mazzetti, Marta B; Lelli, Sandra M; Aldonatti, Carmen; San Martín de Viale, Leonor C

    2007-01-01

    Hexachlorobenzene produces an experimental hepatic porphyria in rats, which is similar to human porphyria cutanea tarda, with hyperpigmentation as one of its characteristic features. Alterations in tryptophan metabolism have been previously observed in this chronic porphyria. Melatonin formation from tryptophan via serotonin shows diurnal rhythmicity in the pineal gland, and higher values are observed during the dark phase of an imposed light-dark cycle. The purpose of this study was to determine the contents of tryptophan and its metabolites in pineal gland of normal and hexachlorobenzene-treated rats in order to find alterations potentially related to porphyria cutanea tarda. Results show that in animals with this experimental porphyria some tryptophan metabolite levels (serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid) increase only during the light period, whereas tryptophan content remained equal to the controls. Hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activity also increases by light in pineal gland from hexachlorobenzene-treated rats. On the other hand, tryptophan is converted to melatonin in the dark period, but this route is not exacerbated in hexachlorobenzene porphyria. The relevance of these alterations is discussed in relation to hyperpigmentation, neoplastic and oxidative stress processes associated with this porphyria.

  12. MicroRNAs in the pineal gland: miR-483 regulates melatonin synthesis by targeting arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Clokie, Samuel J H; Lau, Pierre; Kim, Hyun Hee; Coon, Steven L; Klein, David C

    2012-07-20

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a broad range of roles in biological regulation. In this study, rat pineal miRNAs were profiled for the first time, and their importance was evaluated by focusing on the main function of the pineal gland, melatonin synthesis. Massively parallel sequencing and related methods revealed the miRNA population is dominated by a small group of miRNAs as follows: ~75% is accounted for by 15 miRNAs; miR-182 represents 28%. In addition to miR-182, miR-183 and miR-96 are also highly enriched in the pineal gland, a distinctive pattern also found in the retina. This effort also identified previously unrecognized miRNAs and other small noncoding RNAs. Pineal miRNAs do not exhibit a marked night/day difference in abundance with few exceptions (e.g. 2-fold night/day differences in the abundance of miR-96 and miR-182); this contrasts sharply with the dynamic 24-h pattern that characterizes the pineal transcriptome. During development, the abundance of most pineal gland-enriched miRNAs increases; however, there is a marked decrease in at least one, miR-483. miR-483 is a likely regulator of melatonin synthesis, based on the following. It inhibits melatonin synthesis by pinealocytes in culture; it acts via predicted binding sites in the 3"-UTR of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (Aanat) mRNA, the penultimate enzyme in melatonin synthesis, and it exhibits a developmental profile opposite to that of Aanat transcripts. Additionally, a miR-483 targeted antagonist increased melatonin synthesis in neonatal pinealocytes. These observations support the hypothesis that miR-483 suppresses Aanat mRNA levels during development and that the developmental decrease in miR-483 abundance promotes melatonin synthesis.

  13. 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

  14. Melatonin synthesis in the bovine pineal gland is regulated by type II cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Maronde, E; Middendorff, R; Telgmann, R; Müller, D; Hemmings, B; Taskén, K; Olcese, J

    1997-02-01

    We investigated the expression of regulatory (R) and catalytic (C) subunits of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (cAK; ATP:protein phosphotransferase; EC 2.7.1.37) in the bovine pineal gland. In total RNA extracts of bovine pineal glands moderate levels of RI alpha/RII beta and high levels of C alpha and C beta mRNA were found. We were able to detect a strong signal for RII and C subunit at the protein level, whereas RI was apparently absent. Probing sections of the intact bovine pineal gland with RI and RII antibodies stained only RII in pinealocytes. Pairs of cyclic AMP analogues complementing each other in activation of type II cAK, but not cAKI-directed analogue pairs, showed synergistic stimulation of melatonin synthesis. Moreover, melatonin synthesis stimulated by the physiological activator norepinephrine in pineal cell cultures was inhibited by cAK antagonists. Taken together these results show the presence of RII regulatory and both C alpha and C beta catalytic subunits and thus cAKII holoenzyme in the bovine pineal gland. The almost complete inhibition of norepinephrine-mediated melatonin synthesis by the cAK antagonists emphasizes the dominant role of cyclic AMP as the second messenger and cAK as the transducer in bovine pineal signal transduction.

  15. Regulation of rhythmic melatonin production in pineal cells of chick embryo by cyclic AMP.

    PubMed

    Macková, M; Lamosová, D; Zeman, M

    1998-05-01

    The pineal cells of chick embryos incubated in vitro exhibited a daily rhythm of melatonin synthesis under a 12:12 light:dark (LD) cycle at the embryonic days 16 and 19. In order to elucidate whether cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)--a component of the melatonin generating system--is already at work in the embryonic period, we measured the effects of forskolin and isobuthylmethylxantine (IBMX) on melatonin production, cAMP efflux and accumulation. Forskolin (after 10, 20, 30, 45, 60 and 90 min of administration) and IBMX (6 h), when applied during the light phase of LD cycle, stimulated melatonin production and cAMP efflux and accumulation during the embryonic period (at days 16 and 19 fo development). Our results suggest that the biochemical pathway involving cAMP, which controls melatonin production in the postnatal period, is developed before hatching and already on embryonic day 19 works in a way similar to that in post-hatched chicks. Differences in response to cAMP stimulation between 16- and 19-day-old pinealocytes seem to be mostly quantitative.

  16. Oncostatic activity of pineal neuroendocrine treatment with the pineal indoles melatonin and 5-methoxytryptamine in untreatable metastatic cancer patients progressing on melatonin alone.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, Paolo; Rovelli, Franco; Frassineti, Andrea; Fumagalli, Luca; Malysheva, Ola; Conti, Ario; Maestroni, Georges

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The recent advances in psycho-neuro-endocrino-immunology have demonstrated the existence of several endogenous neuroendocrine substances, capable of affecting both tumor growth and host anticancer immune defenses. The pineal gland would represent one of the most important organs releasing antiproliferative and immunostimulating substances, the most known of them is melatonin (MLT). However, MLT would not be the only pineal indole provided by antitumor activity. Other pineal indoles, namely 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MTT), would play antitumor effects, by either inhibiting cancer cell proliferation or stimulating the anticancer immunity. Preliminary data have shown that MLT may deserve antitumor activity in the treatment of human neoplasms, whereas at present there are no clear data about 5-MTT. In an attempt to obtain some preliminary data about the anticancer properties of 5-MTT in humans, we have evaluated the efficacy of MLT plus 5-MTT in untreatable advanced cancer patients progressing on MLT alone. METHODS: The study included 73 untreatable advanced solid tumor patients, who had progressed after two months of MLT therapy alone. According to tumor histotype, patients were randomized to receive MLT alone (20 mg/day orally in the evening) or MLT plus 5-MTT (1 mg at noon orally), every day for at least two months. The clinical response was evaluated according to WHO criteria. RESULTS: A partial response (PR) occurred in two patients treated with MLT + 5-MTT and in none of the patients receiving MLT alone. A stable disease (SD) was achieved in only 2/37 patients on MLT therapy alone, and in 8/36 patients receiving MLT plus 5-MTT. Therefore, the percent of non-progressing patients (SD + PR) obtained with MLT plus 5-MTT was significantly higher than that obtained with MLT alone. Moreover, the relief of asthenia and depressant symptoms was significantly higher in patients concomitantly treated with 5-MTT. DISCUSSION: This preliminary study would suggest that

  17. Hypocretin (orexin) in the rat pineal gland: a central transmitter with effects on noradrenaline-induced release of melatonin.

    PubMed

    Mikkelsen, J D; Hauser, F; deLecea, L; Sutcliffe, J G; Kilduff, T S; Calgari, C; Pévet, P; Simonneaux, V

    2001-08-01

    Hypocretin-1 (HCRT-1) and hypocretin 2 (HCRT-2), also known as orexin-A and orexin-B, are two neuropeptides derived from the same precursor. Hypocretinergic neurons have been found exclusively in the hypothalamic dorsolateral area. These neurons are implicated in sleep and feeding through activation of specific G-protein-coupled orexin-1 and orexin-2 receptor (OR-R1 and OR-R2). The purpose of this study was to determine the existence of the HCRT peptides in the central input of the rat pineal gland. Further, OR-R1 and OR-R2 expression was determined in the pineal gland and the effect of HCRT-2 on melatonin synthesis and secretion was analysed in dissociated rat pinealocytes. A large contingent of HCRT-positive nerve fibres and terminals were observed in the epithalamus, many of which entered into the pineal parenchyma. A significant number of nerve fibres endowed with positive boutons were identified in the pineal stalk, though the number of positive fibres decreased along the extension of the stalk. So far, no positive fibres have been found in the superficial pineal gland. RT-PCR analysis revealed the expression of OR-R2 mRNA, whereas OR-R1-receptor mRNA was not detected. When tested alone, HCRT-2 had no effect on secretion of melatonin from cultured rat pinealocytes. However, HCRT-2 partially inhibited (by a maximum of 30%) the beta-adrenergic-induced melatonin secretion. The same effect was seen on activation of N-acetyltransferase activity. The distribution and the large number of HCRT-positive fibres together with the effect on noradrenaline-mediated melatonin release through specific receptors suggests that these peptides may be significant central transmitters in pineal function, probably mediating homeostatic signals to the pineal gland.

  18. Sinusoidal 50-Hz magnetic fields depress rat pineal NAT activity and serum melatonin. Role of duration and intensity of exposure.

    PubMed

    Selmaoui, B; Touitou, Y

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether the exposure to a 50-Hz sinusoidal magnetic field could influence serum melatonin concentration and pineal enzymes activities in rats. The effects of both duration and intensity of exposure were also looked at. Two groups of Wistar male rats were exposed to 50-Hz magnetic fields of either 1, 10 or 100 microT. The first group was exposed for 12 hours and the second for 30 days (18 hours per day). During this time the animals were kept under a standard 12:12 light: dark cycle with a temperature of 25 degrees C and a relative humidity of 45 to 50%. Control (Sham-exposed) animals were kept in a similar environment but without exposure to a magnetic field. The animals were sacrificed under red dim light. Serum melatonin concentration and pineal N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) activities were studied. Long-term exposure to a magnetic field (10 and 100 microT) significantly depressed the nocturne peak of serum melatonin concentration and pineal NAT activity whereas no effect was observed on HIOMT activity. Short-term exposure depressed both pineal NAT activity and nocturnal serum melatonin concentration but only with the highest intensity used (100 microT). Our results suggest that sinusoidal magnetic fields alter the production of melatonin through an inhibition of pineal NAT activity. Both duration and intensity of exposure play an important role in this effect. This work shows that, 1) sinusoidal magnetic field depresses NAT activity as static magnetic field does whereas HIOMT activity remains unaltered whatever the type of experiment and the intensity used, 2) the effect observed is related to both the duration of exposure and the intensity of magnetic fields, 3) the sensitivity threshold to magnetic fields vary with the duration of exposure which strongly suggests a cumulative effect of sinusoidal magnetic fields on pineal function.

  19. Clorgyline effect on pineal melatonin biosynthesis in adrenalectomized rats pretreated with 6-hydroxydopamine.

    PubMed

    Reuss, S; Requintina, P J; Riemann, R; Oxenkrug, G F

    1994-01-01

    The response to administration of the specific monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) blocker clorgyline was investigated in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats which were adrenalectomized four days prior to treatment or were additionally sympathectomized as newborns by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine. In both groups, the contents of pineal indoles melatonin and N-acetylserotonin were augmented, and the contents of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and 5-hydroxyindoletryptophol decreased 90 min following clorgyline injections when compared to rats receiving saline. The observed responses were less pronounced in rats both adrenalectomized and sympathectomized. The results are in line with the hypothesis that preservation from oxidation of both MAO-A substrates, noradrenaline and serotonin, upon clorgyline administration contributes to the observed increase in melatonin biosynthesis thought to be associated with the anti-depressant effects of MAO inhibition.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Season-dependent postembryonic maturation of the diurnal rhythm of melatonin biosynthesis in the chicken pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Piesiewicz, A; Kedzierska, U; Podobas, E; Adamska, I; Zuzewicz, K; Majewski, P M

    2012-11-01

    Previously, we have demonstrated that the timing of the nocturnal peak of activity of the pineal arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase - a key enzyme in the melatonin biosynthesis pathway - in 3-wk-old chickens kept from the day of hatch under controlled laboratory conditions (L:D 12:12) varies depending on the season of hatch (summer vs. winter). The present study was undertaken to answer the following questions: (1) are season-related differences seen in the level of transcription of genes encoding enzymes of the melatonin biosynthesis pathway? (2) Does the pineal content of the main precursor (serotonin) and the final product (melatonin) exhibit age- and season-related changes? (3) At which step in postembryonic development are these season-related variations in pineal gland function most pronounced? Male Hy-line chickens hatched in the summer or winter, from eggs laid by hens held on L:D 16:8, were kept from the day of hatch under L:D 12:12 conditions. At the age of 2, 9, or 16 d, chickens were sacrificed every 2 h over a 24-h period and their pineal glands, isolated under dim red light, were processed for the measurement of (i) the level of Aanat and Asmt (acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase) mRNAs encoding the two last enzymes involved in melatonin biosynthesis, (ii) the activity of these enzymes, and (iii) the pineal content of serotonin and melatonin. Circadian rhythmicity of all the measured parameters was evaluated by the cosinor method. The levels of Aanat mRNA, AANAT enzymatic activity, and the pineal melatonin content changed during postembryonic development in a manner that was dependent on the season of hatch. Furthermore, the diurnal profile of Asmt mRNA was elevated during the light phase. In "winter" birds, the pattern and amplitude of the diurnal rhythm of accumulation of this transcript did not change with age, while in "summer" birds it increased in an age-related way. In contrast, the enzymatic activity of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT

  3. Role of postsynaptic alpha-adrenergic receptors in the beta-adrenergic stimulation of melatonin production in the Syrian hamster pineal gland in organ culture.

    PubMed

    Santana, C; Guerrero, J M; Reiter, R J; Menendez-Pelaez, A

    1989-01-01

    The role played by postsynaptic alpha-adrenergic receptors in the stimulation of pineal melatonin production was investigated in the Syrian hamster. The studies were conducted using organ cultured pineal glands collected from both anatomically intact and superior cervical ganglionectomized hamsters. Results obtained indicate that phenylephrine, an alpha-adrenergic agonist, by itself has no effect in promoting melatonin production; however, it potentiates the stimulatory effects of isoproterenol, a beta-adrenergic agonist, on pineal melatonin production in nonoperated hamsters. Similar observations were obtained with pineal glands whose presynaptic terminals were removed by prior superior cervical ganglionectomy. However, a longer incubation time was required (4-6 hours vs. 2 hours) with pineal glands taken from ganglionectomized animals. Apparently, beta-adrenergic activation is an absolute requirement to stimulate pineal melatonin production, and an alpha-adrenergic receptor mechanism potentiates beta-adrenergic activation. In addition, the findings obtained with denervated pineal glands suggest that the regulation of pineal melatonin production by both alpha- and beta-adrenergic mechanisms is through receptors located on postsynaptic structures.

  4. 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.

  5. Suppression of melatonin biosynthesis in the chicken pineal gland by retinally perceived light - involvement of D1-dopamine receptors.

    PubMed

    Zawilska, Jolanta B; Berezińska, Małgorzata; Rosiak, Jolanta; Skene, Debra J; Vivien-Roels, Berthe; Nowak, Jerzy Z

    2004-03-01

    In this study the role of retinal dopamine (DA) receptors in the light-induced suppression of melatonin biosynthesis in the chicken pineal gland was examined. Exposure of dark-adapted chickens to low intensity light (4 lux) at night significantly decreased the activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT; the penultimate and key regulatory enzyme in melatonin production) and melatonin content in the pineal gland. This suppressive action of light was blocked by intraocular (i.oc.) administration of SCH 23390 (a selective antagonist of D1-DA receptors), but was not affected by sulpiride (a selective antagonist of D2-DA receptors). Injection of DA (i.oc.) to dark-adapted chickens significantly decreased pineal AA-NAT activity and melatonin content in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The action of DA was mimicked by selective agonists of D1-DA receptors, SKF 38393 and SKF 81297, and non-hydrolyzable analogs of cyclic AMP (cAMP), dibutyryl-cAMP and 8-bromo-cAMP. However, i.oc. administration of quinpirole, a selective agonist of D2-DA receptors, did not modify pineal AA-NAT activity. In contrast, quinpirole potently decreased nocturnal AA-NAT activity in the retina. Systemic administration of SCH 23390 to chickens blocked the i.oc. DA-evoked decline in nighttime pineal AA-NAT activity, whereas sulpiride was ineffective. These findings indicate that light activation of retinal dopaminergic neurotransmission, with concomitant stimulation of D1-DA receptors positively coupled to the cAMP generating system, plays an important role in a cascade of events regulating pineal activity.

  6. A direct influence of moonlight intensity on changes in melatonin production by cultured pineal glands of the golden rabbitfish, Siganus guttatus.

    PubMed

    Takemura, Akihiro; Ueda, Satomi; Hiyakawa, Nanae; Nikaido, Yoshiaki

    2006-04-01

    Rabbitfish are a restricted lunar-synchronized spawner that spawns around a species-specific lunar phase. It is not known how the fish perceive changes in cues from the moon. One possible explanation is that rabbitfish utilize changes in moonlight intensity to establish synchrony. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether or not the pineal gland of the golden rabbitfish can directly perceive changes in moonlight intensity. Isolated pineal glands were statically cultured under natural or artificial light conditions and melatonin secreted into the culture medium was measured using a time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay. Under an artificial light/dark cycle, melatonin secretion significantly increased during the dark phase. Under continuous light conditions, melatonin secretion was suppressed, while culture under continuous dark conditions seemed to duplicate melatonin secretion corresponding to the light/dark cycle in which the fish were acclimated. When cultured pineal glands were kept under natural light conditions on the dates of the full and the new moon, small amounts of melatonin were secreted at night. Moreover, exposure of cultured pineal glands to artificial and natural light conditions resulted in a significant decrease of melatonin secretion within 2 hr. These results suggest that the isolated pineal gland of golden rabbitfish responds to environmental light cycles and that 'brightness' of the night moon has an influence on melatonin secretion from the isolated pineal gland.

  7. Adrenoceptor expression and diurnal rhythms of melatonin and its precursors in the pineal gland of type 2 diabetic goto-kakizaki rats.

    PubMed

    Bach, Andreas Gunter; Mühlbauer, Eckhard; Peschke, Elmar

    2010-06-01

    A decrease in the nighttime release of the pineal hormone melatonin is associated with aging and chronic diseases in animals an humans. Melatonin has a protective role in type 2 diabetes; however, its synthesis itself is affected in the disease. The aim of this study was to detect crucially impaired steps in the pineal melatonin synthesis of type 2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats. Therefore, plasma melatonin concentrations and the pineal content of melatonin and its precursors (tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptophan, serotonin, and N-acetylserotonin) were quantified in GK rats compared with Wistar rats (each group 8 and 50 wk old) in a diurnal manner (four animals per group and per time point). Additionally, the expression of pineal adrenoceptor subtype mRNA was investigated. We found that in diabetic GK rats, 1) inhibitory alpha-2-adrenoceptors are significantly more strongly expressed than in Wistar rats, 2) the formation of 5-hydroxytryptophan is crucially impaired, and 3) the pineal gland protein content is significantly reduced compared with that in Wistar rats. This is the first time that melatonin synthesis is examined in a type 2 diabetic rat model in a diurnal manner. The present data unveil several reasons for a reduced melatonin secretion in diabetic animals and present an important link in the interaction between melatonin and insulin.

  8. Light, neurotransmitters and the suprachiasmatic nucleus control of pineal melatonin production in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kennaway, D J

    1997-01-01

    There is considerable interest in the neuronal pathways involved in the generation and entrainment of circadian rhythms. We have monitored the output of the pineal gland via the urinary metabolite of melatonin, 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT.6S), following drug treatment to provide information on the transmitters mediating the effects of light. As a check on the specificity of the response [suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) versus direct pineal effects] we also monitored in separate experiments c-Fos induction in the SCN in response to the treatments. Administration of the excitatory amino acid (EAA) antagonist MK-801 (3 mg/kg) failed to inhibit either the acute or entraining effects of light on melatonin production and only partially (approximately 30%) prevented the induction of c-Fos in the SCN. These results suggested that EAA are either not important in mediating the effects of light in the rat or that pathways utilising transmitters other than EAA may be involved. When the non-specific serotonin agonist quipazine was administered at CT 18, it mimicked both the acute and phase delaying effects of light on melatonin secretion and induced c-Fos in the SCN with a regional distribution identical to that observed following light treatment. Characterisation of the receptor subtypes involved in this response implicated the 5HT2c receptor on the basis of the response to (+/-)-1-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane HCl (DOI, 0.1-0.5 mg/kg) and the potent antagonism by ritanserin and ketanserin. DOI (0.5 mg/kg) also induced c-Fos in the SCN and the induction was prevented by ritanserin and ketanserin. Despite the potency of 5HT2c agonists in mimicking light effects on melatonin rhythmicity, at the time of preparation we have not been able to block the effects of 2-1x/1-min light pulses on the melatonin rhythm with either metergoline (15 mg/kg), ritanserin (3 mg/kg) or ketanserin (3 mg/kg). Similarly ritanserin (10 mg/kg) failed to block light-induced c-Fos induction in

  9. CAFFEINE INJECTION IN THE DARK PHASE PROLONGS THE NOCTURNAL RISE IN SEROTONIN N-ACETYLTRANSFERASE ACTIVITY AND MELATONIN CONTENT IN THE PINEAL GLAND OF MALE RATS.

    PubMed

    Sabry

    1997-12-01

    Caffeine, an important member of methylxanthines, induced a prolonged nocturnal rise in pineal melatonin content and an increase in its rate-limiting enzyme serotonin N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity. The highest levels were reached five hours after subcutaneous caffeine injection to male rats in the dark phase, where the NAT activity increased from 920+/-70 pM/pineal/h in the control group to 1190+/-120 pM/pineal/h (P<0.001) in the treated group. The pineal melatonin content, as well, was elevated from 520+/-40 pg/pineal in the control group to 1120+/-80 pg/pineal (P<0.001) in caffeine treated group. These changes could be attributed to the depressive effect of caffeine on the activity of phosphodiesterase (PDE), the enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of the intracellular second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).

  10. Acute melatonin and para-chloroamphetamine interactions on pineal, brain and serum serotonin levels as well as stress hormone levels.

    PubMed

    Manzana, E J; Chen, W J; Champney, T H

    2001-08-03

    para-Chloroamphetamine, an amphetamine analog, alters serotonergic neurochemistry. In previous reports, melatonin (MEL), when administered with other amphetamine analogs, altered the decline in serotonin content produced by these analogs. The present studies assessed the effects of various doses of melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine on serotonin levels in numerous brain regions in male rats. Melatonin (10, 25 or 50 mg/kg, s.c.) and p-chloroamphetamine (3 or 5 mg/kg, s.c.) were administered and, 3 h later, brain samples and serum were collected. Serotonin levels in the serum and various regions of the brain were assayed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Melatonin in combination with a high dose of p-chloroamphetamine (5 mg/kg) produced cumulative deficits in serotonin levels in the serum. However, serotonin levels in the pineal, cortex or brain stem in all combined melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine groups were not significantly different from groups that received p-chloroamphetamine alone. Serum adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone levels were significantly elevated in the melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine combined groups, suggesting that animals receiving both treatments were more stressed than control animals or animals receiving melatonin or p-chloroamphetamine alone. These results indicate that melatonin does not alter p-chloroamphetamine-induced deficits in central serotonin levels. The increased serum adrenocorticotropic hormone, corticosterone and serotonin levels observed following melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine treatment suggest that this combination may have adverse peripheral effects.

  11. Chronic stress decreases the expression of sympathetic markers in the pineal gland and increases plasma melatonin concentration in rats.

    PubMed

    Dagnino-Subiabre, Alexies; Orellana, Juan A; Carmona-Fontaine, Carlos; Montiel, Juan; Díaz-Velíz, Gabriela; Serón-Ferré, María; Wyneken, Ursula; Concha, Miguel L; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2006-06-01

    Chronic stress affects brain areas involved in learning and emotional responses. Although most studies have concentrated on the effect of stress on limbic-related brain structures, in this study we investigated whether chronic stress might induce impairments in diencephalic structures associated with limbic components of the stress response. Specifically, we analyzed the effect of chronic immobilization stress on the expression of sympathetic markers in the rat epithalamic pineal gland by immunohistochemistry and western blot, whereas the plasma melatonin concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. We found that chronic stress decreased the expression of three sympathetic markers in the pineal gland, tyrosine hydroxylase, the p75 neurotrophin receptor and alpha-tubulin, while the same treatment did not affect the expression of the non-specific sympathetic markers Erk1 and Erk2, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Furthermore, these results were correlated with a significant increase in plasma melatonin concentration in stressed rats when compared with control animals. Our findings indicate that stress may impair pineal sympathetic inputs, leading to an abnormal melatonin release that may contribute to environmental maladaptation. In addition, we propose that the pineal gland is a target of glucocorticoid damage during stress.

  12. Biological and clinical results of a neuroimmunotherapy with interleukin-2 and the pineal hormone melatonin as a first line treatment in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed Central

    Lissoni, P.; Tisi, E.; Barni, S.; Ardizzoia, A.; Rovelli, F.; Rescaldani, R.; Ballabio, D.; Benenti, C.; Angeli, M.; Tancini, G.

    1992-01-01

    The metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) still remains an untreatable disease, and the role played by chemotherapy has yet to be defined. The new immunotherapeutic strategies, such as interferon and IL-2, seem to be also less effective, since they generally determine only a stabilisation of disease. On the basis of previous experimental results suggesting a synergistic action between IL-2 and the pineal neurohormone melatonin (MLT), a study was started to evaluate the clinical efficacy and toxicity of a neuroimmunotherapeutic combination consisting of IL-2 plus MLT as a first line therapy in metastatic NSCLC. The study included 20 patients (adenocarcinoma: 10; epidermoid cell carcinoma: 7; large cell carcinoma: 3). MLT was given orally at a dose of 10 mg day-1 at 8.00 pm every day, starting 7 days before the onset of IL-2 administration. IL-2 was given subcutaneously at a dose of 3 x 10(6) IU m-2 every 12 h for 5 days/week for 4 weeks, corresponding to one cycle of immunotherapy. In responder patients or in those with stable disease, a second cycle was given after a rest-period of 21 days. A partial response was achieved in 4/20 (20%) patients. Ten other patients had a stable disease (50%), whereas the last six patients progressed. Toxicity was low in all cases. This study shows that the neuroimmunotherapeutic therapy with IL-2 and the pineal hormone MLT may represent a new effective and well tolerated treatment in metastatic NSCLC, with results comparable to those obtained with chemotherapy, but with an apparent lower biological toxicity. PMID:1322155

  13. CREB phosphorylation and melatonin biosynthesis in the rat pineal gland: involvement of cyclic AMP dependent protein kinase type II.

    PubMed

    Maronde, E; Wicht, H; Taskén, K; Genieser, H G; Dehghani, F; Olcese, J; Korf, H W

    1999-10-01

    Phosphorylation of cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) at amino acid serine 133 appears as an important link between the norepinephrine (NE)-induced activation of second messenger systems and the stimulation of melatonin biosynthesis. Here we investigated in the rat pineal gland: 1) the type of protein kinase that mediates CREB phosphorylation: and 2) its impact on melatonin biosynthesis. Immunochemical or immunocytochemical demonstration of serine133-phosphorylated cyclic AMP regulated element binding protein (pCREB) and radioimmunological detection of melatonin revealed that only cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) inhibitors suppressed NE-induced CREB phosphorylation and stimulation of melatonin biosynthesis, whereas inhibitors of cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase, protein kinase C, or calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) were ineffective. Investigations with cyclic AMP-agonist pairs that selectively activate either PKA type I or II link NE-induced CREB phosphorylation and stimulation of melatonin biosynthesis to the activation of PKA type II. Our data suggest that PKA type II plays an important role in the transcriptional control of melatonin biosynthesis in the rat pineal organ.

  14. Stimulatory effect of morphine on rat pineal melatonin synthesis via a cyclic AMP-dependent transcription pathway.

    PubMed

    Chetsawang, Banthit; Govitrapong, Piyarat

    2005-11-25

    The expression of mRNA of opioid receptors and the existence of opioid binding site in the rat pineal gland have been demonstrated previously. A major finding was that morphine enhanced the activity of the rate-limiting enzyme, N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and increased the level of melatonin in rat pineal gland. An attempt has been made in order to clarify the mechanism of this induction. In the present study, the stimulatory effect of morphine on the expression of NAT mRNA in the rat pineal gland has been demonstrated using semi-quantitative RT-PCR technique. The results showed that both acute and chronic morphine treatments significantly increased NAT mRNA expression in rat pineal gland. In addition, the effect of morphine on the phosphorylation of the transcription factors, cyclic AMP responsive element-binding protein (CREB) was investigated. Western blot analysis showed that morphine significantly increased phosphorylation of CREB. These results indicate that at least one downstream messenger pathway for the activation of opioidergic system on the induction of melatonin synthesis in the rat pineal gland acts via cyclic AMP-dependent cascade and transcription mechanism.

  15. Immune-Pineal Axis: Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB) Mediates the Shift in the Melatonin Source from Pinealocytes to Immune Competent Cells

    PubMed Central

    Markus, Regina P; Cecon, Erika; Pires-Lapa, Marco Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Pineal gland melatonin is the darkness hormone, while extra-pineal melatonin produced by the gonads, gut, retina, and immune competent cells acts as a paracrine or autocrine mediator. The well-known immunomodulatory effect of melatonin is observed either as an endocrine, a paracrine or an autocrine response. In mammals, nuclear translocation of nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) blocks noradrenaline-induced melatonin synthesis in pinealocytes, which induces melatonin synthesis in macrophages. In addition, melatonin reduces NF-κB activation in pinealocytes and immune competent cells. Therefore, pathogen- or danger-associated molecular patterns transiently switch the synthesis of melatonin from pinealocytes to immune competent cells, and as the response progresses melatonin inhibition of NF-κB activity leads these cells to a more quiescent state. The opposite effect of NF-κB in pinealocytes and immune competent cells is due to different NF-κB dimers recruited in each phase of the defense response. This coordinated shift of the source of melatonin driven by NF-κB is called the immune-pineal axis. Finally, we discuss how this concept might be relevant to a better understanding of pathological conditions with impaired melatonin rhythms and hope it opens new horizons for the research of side effects of melatonin-based therapies. PMID:23708099

  16. Immune-pineal axis: nuclear factor κB (NF-kB) mediates the shift in the melatonin source from pinealocytes to immune competent cells.

    PubMed

    Markus, Regina P; Cecon, Erika; Pires-Lapa, Marco Antonio

    2013-05-24

    Pineal gland melatonin is the darkness hormone, while extra-pineal melatonin produced by the gonads, gut, retina, and immune competent cells acts as a paracrine or autocrine mediator. The well-known immunomodulatory effect of melatonin is observed either as an endocrine, a paracrine or an autocrine response. In mammals, nuclear translocation of nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) blocks noradrenaline-induced melatonin synthesis in pinealocytes, which induces melatonin synthesis in macrophages. In addition, melatonin reduces NF-κB activation in pinealocytes and immune competent cells. Therefore, pathogen- or danger-associated molecular patterns transiently switch the synthesis of melatonin from pinealocytes to immune competent cells, and as the response progresses melatonin inhibition of NF-κB activity leads these cells to a more quiescent state. The opposite effect of NF-κB in pinealocytes and immune competent cells is due to different NF-κB dimers recruited in each phase of the defense response. This coordinated shift of the source of melatonin driven by NF-κB is called the immune-pineal axis. Finally, we discuss how this concept might be relevant to a better understanding of pathological conditions with impaired melatonin rhythms and hope it opens new horizons for the research of side effects of melatonin-based therapies.

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamics in enzymatic protein complexes offer a novel principle for the regulation of melatonin synthesis in the human pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Maronde, Erik; Saade, Anastasia; Ackermann, Katrin; Goubran-Botros, Hany; Pagan, Cecile; Bux, Roman; Bourgeron, Thomas; Dehghani, Faramarz; Stehle, Jörg H

    2011-08-01

    Time of day is communicated to the body through rhythmic cues, including pineal gland melatonin synthesis, which is restricted to nighttime. Whereas in most rodents transcriptional regulation of the arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (Aanat) gene is essential for rhythmic melatonin synthesis, investigations into nonrodent mammalian species have shown post-transcriptional regulation to be of central importance, with molecular mechanisms still elusive. Therefore, human pineal tissues, taken from routine autopsies were allocated to four time-of-death groups (night/dawn/day/dusk) and analyzed for daytime-dependent changes in phosphorylated AANAT (p31T-AANAT) and in acetyl-serotonin-methyltransferase (ASMT) expression and activity. Protein content, intracellular localization, and colocalization of p31T-AANAT and ASMT were assessed, using immunoblotting, immunofluorescence, and immunoprecipitation techniques. Fresh sheep pineal gland preparations were used for comparative purposes. The amount of p31T-AANAT and ASMT proteins as well as their intracellular localization showed no diurnal variation in autoptic human and fresh sheep pineal glands. Moreover, in human and sheep pineal extracts, AANAT could not be dephosphorylated, which was at variance to data derived from rat pineal extracts. P31T-AANAT and ASMT were often found to colocalize in cellular rod-like structures that were also partly immunoreactive for the pinealocyte process-specific marker S-antigen (arrestin) in both, human and sheep pinealocytes. Protein-protein interaction studies with p31T-AANAT, ASMT, and S-antigen demonstrated a direct association and formation of robust complexes, involving also 14-3-3. This work provides evidence for a regulation principle for AANAT activity in the human pineal gland, which may not be based on a p31T-AANAT phosphorylation/dephosphorylation switch, as described for other mammalian species.

  19. Tetrodotoxin administration in the suprachiasmatic nucleus prevents NMDA-induced reductions in pineal melatonin without influencing Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels.

    PubMed

    Paul, Ketema N; Gamble, Karen L; Fukuhara, Chiaki; Novak, Colleen M; Tosini, Gianluca; Albers, H Elliott

    2004-05-01

    The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the anterior hypothalamus contains a light-entrainable circadian pacemaker. Neurons in the SCN are part of a circuit that conveys light information from retinal efferents to the pineal gland. Light presented during the night acutely increases mRNA levels of the circadian clock genes Per1 and Per2 in the SCN, and acutely suppresses melatonin levels in the pineal gland. The present study investigated whether the ability of light to increase Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels and suppress pineal melatonin levels requires sodium-dependent action potentials in the SCN. Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels in the SCN and pineal melatonin levels were measured in Syrian hamsters injected with tetrodotoxin (TTX) prior to light exposure or injection of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). TTX inhibited the ability of light to increase Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels and suppress pineal melatonin levels. TTX did not, however, influence the ability of NMDA to increase Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels, though it did inhibit the ability of NMDA to suppress pineal melatonin levels. These results demonstrate that action potentials in the SCN are not necessary for NMDA receptor activation to increase Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels, but are necessary for NMDA receptor activation to decrease pineal melatonin levels. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that the mechanism through which light information is conveyed to the pacemaker in the SCN is separate from and independent of the mechanism through which light information is conveyed to the SCN cells whose efferents suppress pineal melatonin levels.

  20. The pineal hormone melatonin in hematology and its potential efficacy in the treatment of thrombocytopenia.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, P; Tancini, G; Barni, S; Paolorossi, F; Rossini, F; Maffé, P; Di Bella, L

    1996-12-01

    Recent experimental studies suggested that hematopoietic cell proliferation and differentiation are under a neuroendocrine control and that they change in relation to the 24-hour period. Moreover, it has been shown that the pineal hormone melatonin (MLT) plays a role in mediating the influence of the psychoendocrine system and of the lighting conditions on the hematopoiesis. Finally, MLT has appeared to regulate hematopoietic cell growth by influencing apoptosis-related mechanisms. In particular, preliminary studies have shown that the pineal hormone MLT may determine some benefits in blood cell disorders, mainly platelet diseases. On this basis, a pilot phase II study of MLT therapy was performed in patients suffering from persistent thrombocytopenia due to different causes. The study included 14 patients, and thrombocytopenia was due to bone metastatic involvement in 5, hypersplenism in 3, myelodysplastic syndrome in 3, DIC in 1, genetic factors in 1, and Werlhof's disease in the last case. MLT was given orally at 20 mg/day in the evening for 2 months. No MLT-related toxicity occurred. A normalization of platelet number was achieved in 8/14 (57%), and platelet mean number significantly increased on MLT therapy. This preliminary study would suggest that MLT may be effective in the treatment of thrombocytopenia due to different reasons, for which no effective standard therapy is available.

  1. Melatonin and male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Chunjin; Zhou, Xu

    2015-06-15

    Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland whose concentrations in the body are regulated by both the dark-light and seasonal cycles. The reproductive function of seasonal breeding animals is clearly influenced by the circadian variation in melatonin levels. Moreover, a growing body of evidence indicates that melatonin has important effects in the reproduction of some non-seasonal breeding animals. In males, melatonin affects reproductive regulation in three main ways. First, it regulates the secretion of two key neurohormones, GnRH and LH. Second, it regulates testosterone synthesis and testicular maturation. Third, as a potent free radical scavenger that is both lipophilic and hydrophilic, it prevents testicular damage caused by environmental toxins or inflammation. This review summarizes the existing data on the possible biological roles of melatonin in male reproduction. Overall, the literature data indicate that melatonin affects the secretion of both gonadotropins and testosterone while also improving sperm quality. This implies that it has important effects on the regulation of testicular development and male reproduction.

  2. 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

    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 (mel 1a 1.4, mel 1a 1.7, 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Reduction of the nocturnal rise in pineal melatonin levels in rats exposed to 60-Hz electric fields in utero and for 23 days after birth

    SciTech Connect

    Reiter, R.J.; Anderson, L.E.; Buschbom, R.I.; Wilson, B.W.

    1988-02-01

    Rats exposed to 60-Hz electric fields of either 10, 65, or 130 kV/m from conception to 23 days of age exhibited reduced peak nighttime pineal melatonin contents compared to unexposed controls. As a group, the exposed rats also exhibited a phase delay, estimated at approximately 1.4 hours, in the occurrence of the nocturnal melatonin peak. No clear dose-response relationship was noticed over the range of electric field strengths used as treatments in these experiments. These are the first studies concerned with the effects of electric field exposure on the pineal melatonin rhythm in immature rats and the findings are generally consistent with those obtained using adult rats, where electric field exposure has been shown to abolish the nighttime rhythm in pineal melatonin concentrations. 15 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  5. Reduction of the nocturnal rise in pineal melatonin levels in rats exposed to 60-Hz electric fields in utero and for 23 days after birth

    SciTech Connect

    Reiter, R.J.; Anderson, L.E.; Buschbom, R.L.; Wilson, B.W.

    1988-01-01

    Rats exposed to 60-Hz electric fields of either 10, 65, or 130 kV/m from conception to 23 days of age exhibited reduced peak nighttime pineal melatonin contents compared to unexposed controls. As a group, the exposed rats also exhibited a phase delay, estimated at approximately 1.4 hours, in the occurrence of the nocturnal melatonin peak. No clear dose-response relationship was noticed over the range of electric field strengths used as treatments in these experiments. These are the first studies concerned with the effects of electric field exposure on the pineal melatonin rhythm in immature rats. The findings are generally consistent with those obtained using adult rats, where electric field exposure has been shown to abolish the nighttime rhythm in pineal melatonin concentrations.

  6. Diurnal expression of clock genes in pineal gland and brain and plasma levels of melatonin and cortisol in Atlantic salmon parr and smolts.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tien-sheng; Ruoff, Peter; Fjelldal, Per G

    2010-10-01

    In Atlantic salmon, the preadaptation to a marine life, i.e., parr-smolt transformation, and melatonin production in the pineal gland are regulated by the photoperiod. However, the clock genes have never been studied in the pineal gland of this species. The aim of the present study was to describe the diurnal expression of clock genes (Per1-like, Cry2, and Clock) in the pineal gland and brain of Atlantic salmon parr and smolts in freshwater, as well as plasma levels of melatonin and cortisol. By employing an out-of-season smolt production model, the parr-smolt transformation was induced by subjecting triplicate groups of parr to 6 wks (wks 0 to 6) under a 12 h:12 h light-dark (LD) regime followed by 6 wks (wks 6 to 12) of continuous light (LL). The measured clock genes in both pineal gland and brain and the plasma levels of melatonin and cortisol showed significant daily variations in parr under LD in wk 6, whereas these rhythms were abolished in smolts under LL in wk 12. In parr, the pineal Per1-like and Cry2 expression peaked in the dark phase, whereas the pineal Clock expression was elevated during the light phase. Although this study presents novel findings on the clock gene system in the teleost pineal gland, the role of this system in the regulation of smoltification needs to be studied in more detail.

  7. Scientific research on the pineal gland and melatonin: a bibliometric study for the period 1966-1994.

    PubMed

    López-Muñoz, F; Boya, J; Marín, F; Calvo, J L

    1996-04-01

    By means of teledischarge techniques from the database MEDLINE we selected those documents that contained in their title one or several of the following descriptors: pineal*, epiphys*, or melatonin*, in addition to the descriptor pineal-body in the MESH (Medical Subject Headings) section. A total of 7,617 original documents published between 1966 and 1994 were extracted that dealt with any aspect related with the pineal gland or its main secretary product, melatonin. The main bibliometric laws were applied: Price's Law on the increase in scientific literature, Bradford's Law on the dispersion of the scientific literature, and Lotka's Law on the author's productivity. Furthermore, we have analyzed the participation index (PaI) of the main countries within the global production, the productivity index of the authors (PI), and the number of authors/paper index. Our results demonstrate an exponential increase of the scientific literature on the pineal gland ("r" value = 0.983, in contrast with a "r" value = 0.966 after the linear adjustment). The number of publications on melatonin was less than those on other aspects of pineal research until 1991, when this situation was reversed. The journal with the largest number of original papers is Journal of Pineal Research (1st Bradford's zone) with 533 articles, followed by Journal of Neural Transmission (258) and Neuroendocrinology (221), which constituted the 2nd Bradford's zone. The total number of authors is 9,140, responsible for 23,524 authorships. 3.8% of the authors present a PI > or = 1 (large producers), and 64.9% a PI = 0 (occasional authors). Lotka's Law was widely fulfilled in this material since 10.3% of the authors are responsible of 50.2% of all the papers. The average number of authors per paper has changed from 2.29 in 1966 to 3.85 in 1994. The most productive country (during the interval between 1988-1994) was USA (PaI = 30.6), followed by Japan (7.15), United Kingdom (6.45), Germany (6.37), France (6

  8. Circadian regulation of pineal gland rhythmicity.

    PubMed

    Borjigin, Jimo; Zhang, L Samantha; Calinescu, Anda-Alexandra

    2012-02-05

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine organ of the brain. Its main task is to synthesize and secrete melatonin, a nocturnal hormone with diverse physiological functions. This review will focus on the central and pineal mechanisms in generation of mammalian pineal rhythmicity including melatonin production. In particular, this review covers the following topics: (1) local control of serotonin and melatonin rhythms; (2) neurotransmitters involved in central control of melatonin; (3) plasticity of the neural circuit controlling melatonin production; (4) role of clock genes in melatonin formation; (5) phase control of pineal rhythmicity; (6) impact of light at night on pineal rhythms; and (7) physiological function of the pineal rhythmicity.

  9. The suppression of pineal melatonin content and N-acetyltransferase activity by different light irradiances in the Syrian hamster: a dose-response relationship.

    PubMed

    Brainard, G C; Richardson, B A; King, T S; Matthews, S A; Reiter, R J

    1983-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to test the influence of various irradiances of cool white fluorescent light on the suppression of pineal N-acetyltransferase activity (NAT) and melatonin content in hamsters. Groups of animals were exposed to light irradiances ranging from 0.00-1.86 microwatts (microW)/cm2 for 20 min during the night. Both pineal NAT and melatonin were similarly depressed by the light irradiances in a dose-related manner. The shape of the resultant dose-response curves and the calculated ED50 for NAT (0.066 microW/cm2) and melatonin (0.058 microW/cm2) were remarkably similar. These findings may be relevant to the physiological control of the pineal by natural illumination.

  10. Neuroprotective Mechanisms of Melatonin in Hemorrhagic Stroke.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hai-Jian; Wu, Cheng; Niu, Huan-Jiang; Wang, Kun; Mo, Lian-Jie; Shao, An-Wen; Dixon, Brandon J; Zhang, Jian-Min; Yang, Shu-Xu; Wang, Yi-Rong

    2017-01-28

    Hemorrhagic stroke which consists of subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage is a dominant cause of death and disability worldwide. Although great efforts have been made, the physiological mechanisms of these diseases are not fully understood and effective pharmacological interventions are still lacking. Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine), a neurohormone produced by the pineal gland, is a broad-spectrum antioxidant and potent free radical scavenger. More importantly, there is extensive evidence demonstrating that melatonin confers neuroprotective effects in experimental models of hemorrhagic stroke. Multiple molecular mechanisms such as antioxidant, anti-apoptosis, and anti-inflammation, contribute to melatonin-mediated neuroprotection against brain injury after hemorrhagic stroke. This review article aims to summarize current knowledge regarding the beneficial effects of melatonin in experimental models of hemorrhagic stroke and explores the underlying mechanisms. We propose that melatonin is a promising neuroprotective candidate that is worthy of further evaluation for its potential therapeutic applications in hemorrhagic stroke.

  11. Comparative study of pineal clock gene and AANAT2 expression in relation to melatonin synthesis in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

    PubMed

    McStay, Elsbeth; Migaud, Herve; Vera, Luisa Maria; Sánchez-Vázquez, Francisco Javier; Davie, Andrew

    2014-03-01

    The photoreceptive teleost pineal is considered to be essential to the generation, synchronisation and maintenance of biological rhythms, primarily via melatonin release. The role of internal (circadian clock) and external (light) signals controlling melatonin production in the fish pineal differs between species, yet the reasons underpinning this remain largely unknown. Whilst in salmonids, pineal melatonin is apparently regulated directly by light, in all other studied teleosts, rhythmic melatonin production persists endogenously under the regulation of clock gene expression. To better understand the role of clocks in teleost pineals, this study aimed to characterise the expression of selected clock genes in vitro under different photoperiodic conditions in comparison to in vivo in both Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) (in vitro 12L:12D), a species known to display endogenous rhythmic melatonin synthesis. Results revealed no rhythmic clock gene (Clock, Period 1 &2) expression in Atlantic salmon or European seabass (Clock and Period 1) pineal in vitro. However rhythmic expression of Cryptochrome 2 and Period 1 in the Atlantic salmon pineal was observed in vivo, which infers extra-pineal regulation of clocks in this species. No rhythmic arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase 2 (Aanat2) expression was observed in the Atlantic salmon yet in the European seabass, circadian Aanat2 expression was observed. Subsequent in silico analysis of available Aanat2 genomic sequences reveals that Atlantic salmon Aanat2 promoter sequences do not contain similar regulatory architecture as present in European seabass, and previously described in other teleosts which alludes to a loss in functional connection in the pathway.

  12. Transduction of light in the suprachiasmatic nucleus: evidence for two different neurochemical cascades regulating the levels of Per1 mRNA and pineal melatonin.

    PubMed

    Paul, K N; Fukuhara, C; Tosini, G; Albers, H E

    2003-01-01

    The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) contains a circadian clock and regulates melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland. Light exposure during the subjective night acutely increases the mRNA levels of the Period (Per)1 gene in the SCN and acutely suppresses melatonin levels in the pineal gland. Activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the SCN has been demonstrated to phase-shift the circadian clock in a manner similar to light. We tested the hypothesis that activation of excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptors in the SCN mediates the acute effects of light on Per1 mRNA levels and pineal melatonin. NMDA, injected into the SCN of Syrian hamsters during the night, acutely suppressed melatonin levels in the pineal gland. Both the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5) and the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazoleproprionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptor antagonist 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX) inhibited the light-induced increase of Per1 mRNA levels in the SCN. In the same animals, however, these antagonists had no effect on the ability of light to suppress pineal melatonin. These results support the hypothesis that EAA receptor activation in the SCN is necessary for the acute effects of light on Per1 mRNA levels. They also indicate that NMDA receptor activation in the SCN is sufficient but may not be necessary for the acute effects of light on pineal melatonin. These data suggest that there may be at least two different neurochemical cascades that transduce the effects of light in the SCN

  13. Circadian-related heteromerization of adrenergic and dopamine D₄ receptors modulates melatonin synthesis and release in the pineal gland.

    PubMed

    González, Sergio; Moreno-Delgado, David; Moreno, Estefanía; Pérez-Capote, Kamil; Franco, Rafael; Mallol, Josefa; Cortés, Antoni; Casadó, Vicent; Lluís, Carme; Ortiz, Jordi; Ferré, Sergi; Canela, Enric; McCormick, Peter J

    2012-01-01

    The role of the pineal gland is to translate the rhythmic cycles of night and day encoded by the retina into hormonal signals that are transmitted to the rest of the neuronal system in the form of serotonin and melatonin synthesis and release. Here we describe that the production of both melatonin and serotonin by the pineal gland is regulated by a circadian-related heteromerization of adrenergic and dopamine D₄ receptors. Through α(₁B)-D₄ and β₁-D₄ receptor heteromers dopamine inhibits adrenergic receptor signaling and blocks the synthesis of melatonin induced by adrenergic receptor ligands. This inhibition was not observed at hours of the day when D₄ was not expressed. These data provide a new perspective on dopamine function and constitute the first example of a circadian-controlled receptor heteromer. The unanticipated heteromerization between adrenergic and dopamine D₄ receptors provides a feedback mechanism for the neuronal hormone system in the form of dopamine to control circadian inputs.

  14. Modulation of pineal melatonin synthesis by glutamate involves paracrine interactions between pinealocytes and astrocytes through NF-κB activation.

    PubMed

    Villela, Darine; Atherino, Victoria Fairbanks; Lima, Larissa de Sá; Moutinho, Anderson Augusto; do Amaral, Fernanda Gaspar; Peres, Rafael; Martins de Lima, Thais; Torrão, Andréa da Silva; Cipolla-Neto, José; Scavone, Cristóforo; Afeche, Solange Castro

    2013-01-01

    The glutamatergic modulation of melatonin synthesis is well known, along with the importance of astrocytes in mediating glutamatergic signaling in the central nervous system. Pinealocytes and astrocytes are the main cell types in the pineal gland. The objective of this work was to investigate the interactions between astrocytes and pinealocytes as a part of the glutamate inhibitory effect on melatonin synthesis. Rat pinealocytes isolated or in coculture with astrocytes were incubated with glutamate in the presence of norepinephrine, and the melatonin content, was quantified. The expression of glutamate receptors, the intracellular calcium content and the NF- κ B activation were analyzed in astrocytes and pinealocytes. TNF- α 's possible mediation of the effect of glutamate was also investigated. The results showed that glutamate's inhibitory effect on melatonin synthesis involves interactions between astrocytes and pinealocytes, possibly through the release of TNF- α . Moreover, the activation of the astrocytic NF- κ B seems to be a necessary step. In astrocytes and pinealocytes, AMPA, NMDA, and group I metabotropic glutamate receptors were observed, as well as the intracellular calcium elevation. In conclusion, there is evidence that the modulation of melatonin synthesis by glutamate involves paracrine interactions between pinealocytes and astrocytes through the activation of the astrocytic NF- κ B transcription factor and possibly by subsequent TNF- α release.

  15. Pineal gland hormone and idiopathic scoliosis: possible effect of melatonin on sleep-related postural mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Pompeiano, O; Manzoni, D; Miele, F

    2002-04-01

    Experimental and clinical evidences indicate that endocrine mechanisms, particularly involving the pineal gland, exert a role in the development of postural deficits leading to the occurrence of idiopatic scoliosis (IS). In particular, experiments performed in bipedal animals have shown that removal of the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin (M), induced a scoliosis, and that in such preparations, administration of this hormone prevented the development of this deformity (cf. 131). It appears also that adolescents with IS showed a reduced level of serum M with respect to age-related control subjects. The possible mechanisms involved in the M regulation of the tonic contraction of the axial musculature have been discussed. It is known that the pineal gland is implicated in the control of circadian rhythms, including the sleep-waking cycle, and that during this cycle there are prominent changes in postural activity, which affect not only the limbs, but also the axial musculature. These changes are characterized by a decrease followed by a suppression of postural activity, which occur particularly during transition from wakefulness to synchronized sleep and, more prominently, to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Episodes of postural atonia may also occur during the cataplectic episodes, which are typical of narcolepsy. Cholinergic and/or cholinoceptive neurons located in the dorsal pontine reticular formation (pRF) and the related medullary inhibitory reticulospinal (RS) system, intervene in the suppression of posture during REM sleep, as well as during the cataplectic episodes which occur in narcolepsy. These structures are under the modulatory (inhibitory) influence of the dorsomedial and the dorsolateral pontine tegmentum, where serotoninergic raphe nuclei (RN) neurons and noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC) neurons are located. We postulated that M may act not only on the circadian pacemaker, but also directly on the pontine tegmental structures involved in the

  16. Cannabinoids attenuate norepinephrine-induced melatonin biosynthesis in the rat pineal gland by reducing arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase activity without involvement of cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Koch, Marco; Dehghani, Faramarz; Habazettl, Iris; Schomerus, Christof; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2006-07-01

    Cannabinoids modulate neuronal and neuroendocrine circuits by binding to cannabinoid receptors acting upon cAMP/Ca(2+)-mediated intracellular signaling cascades. The rat pineal represents an established model to investigate intracellular signaling processes because a well defined input, the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, is transformed via cAMP/Ca(2+)-dependent mechanisms into an easily detectable output signal, the biosynthesis of melatonin. Here we investigated the impact of cannabinoids on norepinephrine-regulated melatonin biosynthesis in the rat pineal. We demonstrated that treatment of cultured rat pineals with 9-carboxy-11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol or cannabinol significantly reduced norepinephrine-induced arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) activity and melatonin biosynthesis. These effects were not mimicked by the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 and were not blocked by cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptor antagonists. The cannabinoids used did not affect norepinephrine-induced increases in cAMP/Ca(2+) levels. Notably, cannabinoids were found to directly inhibit AANAT activity in lysates of the pineal gland. This effect was specific in so far as cannabinoids did not influence the activity of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT), the last enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that cannabinoids inhibit AANAT activity and attenuate melatonin biosynthesis through intracellular actions without involvement of classical cannabinoid receptor-dependent signaling cascades.

  17. Melatonin synthesis impairment as a new deleterious outcome of diabetes-derived hyperglycemia.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Fernanda G; Turati, Ariane O; Barone, Mark; Scialfa, Julieta H; do Carmo Buonfiglio, Daniella; Peres, Rafael; Peliciari-Garcia, Rodrigo A; Afeche, Solange C; Lima, Larissa; Scavone, Cristoforo; Bordin, Silvana; Reiter, Russel J; Menna-Barreto, Luiz; Cipolla-Neto, José

    2014-08-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone that works as a nighttime signal for circadian integrity and health maintenance. It is crucial for energy metabolism regulation, and the diabetes effects on its synthesis are unresolved. Using diverse techniques that included pineal microdialysis and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography, the present data show a clear acute and sustained melatonin synthesis reduction in diabetic rats as a result of pineal metabolism impairment that is unrelated to cell death. Hyperglycemia is the main cause of several diabetic complications, and its consequences in terms of melatonin production were assessed. Here, we show that local high glucose (HG) concentration is acutely detrimental to pineal melatonin synthesis in rats both in vivo and in vitro. The clinically depressive action of high blood glucose concentration in melatonin levels was also observed in type 1 diabetes patients who presented a negative correlation between hyperglycemia and 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion. Additionally, high-mean-glycemia type 1 diabetes patients presented lower 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels when compared to control subjects. Although further studies are needed to fully clarify the mechanisms, the present results provide evidence that high circulating glucose levels interfere with pineal melatonin production. Given the essential role played by melatonin as a powerful antioxidant and in the control of energy homeostasis, sleep and biological rhythms and knowing that optimal glycemic control is usually an issue for patients with diabetes, melatonin supplementation may be considered as an additional tool to the current treatment.

  18. Effects of Melatonin on Morphological and Functional Parameters of the Pineal Gland and Organs of Immune System in Rats During Natural Light Cycle and Constant Illumination.

    PubMed

    Litvinenko, G I; Shurlygina, A V; Gritsyk, O B; Mel'nikova, E V; Tenditnik, M V; Avrorov, P A; Trufakin, V A

    2015-10-01

    We studied the response of the pineal gland and organs of the immune system to melatonin treatment in Wistar rats kept under conditions of abnormal illumination regimen. The animals were kept under natural light regimen or continuous illumination for 14 days and then received daily injections of melatonin (once a day in the evening) for 7 days. Administration of melatonin to rats kept at natural light cycle was followed by a decrease in percent ratio of CD4+8+ splenocytes and CD4-8+ thymocytes. In 24-h light with the following melatonin injections were accompanied by an increase in percent rate and absolute amount of CD4+8+ cells in the spleen, and a decrease in percent rate of CD11b/c and CD4-8+ splenocytes. In the thymus amount of CD4-8+ cells increased, and absolute number of CD4+25+ cells reduced. Melatonin significantly decreased lipofuscin concentration in the pineal gland during continuous light. Direction and intensity of effects of melatonin on parameters of cell immunity and state of the pineal gland were different under normal and continuous light conditions. It should be taken into account during using of this hormone for correction of immune and endocrine impairments developing during change in light/dark rhythm.

  19. Importance of light in temporal organization of photoreceptor proteins and melatonin-producing system in the pineal of carp Catla catla.

    PubMed

    Seth, Mohua; Maitra, Saumen Kumar

    2010-05-01

    The importance of light in the temporal organization of photoreceptor proteins and melatonin-producing system has been investigated for the first time in the pineal of a tropical fish. In this study, an identical experimental paradigm was followed during the four distinct phases of an annual cycle in adult carps (Catla catla) maintained either under natural photoperiod (NP) or continuous illumination (LL) or darkness (DD) for 30 days. At the end of each experiment, the pineal from fish in each experimental group was collected either at 06:00, 12:00, 18:00, or 24:00 in a daily cycle and assessed by Western blot analysis for pineal rod-like opsin, alpha-transducin, and AANAT. The same animals were also used for measurement of serum melatonin levels, and the serum as well as intra-pineal Ca(++) levels at each timepoint. The study revealed a daily rhythmicity with a peak at 12:00 h and nadir at 24:00 h in the band intensity of pineal rod-like opsin and alpha-transducin in NP fish, while the band intensities of these photo-pigment proteins remained high under LL and low under DD, irrespective of clock hour during the 24 h cycle. The band intensity of pineal AANAT, levels of serum melatonin, and both serum Ca(++) and intra-pineal Ca(++) were maximum at 24:00 h and minimum at 12:00h in NP fish, and they were significantly lower under LL and higher under DD at each point of study. The results showed loss of daily rhythm in each studied variable in both LL and DD carps, suggesting that their circadian organization is dependent on the external light-dark conditions, rather than an endogenous circadian oscillator in the pineal.

  20. Transcription factors may frame Aa-nat gene expression and melatonin synthesis at night in the Syrian hamster pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Garidou, Marie-Laure; Diaz, Elena; Calgari, Christiane; Pévet, Paul; Simonneaux, Valérie

    2003-06-01

    Pineal melatonin synthesis is stimulated at night following an increase in arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) activity. Depending on the species, two mechanisms of enzyme activation have been described: a cAMP/phospho-cAMP response element-binding protein-dependent stimulation of Aa-nat gene transcription in the rat, presumed to occur in all rodents, or a posttranslational regulation of AA-NAT protein in ongulates. The present data obtained in the Syrian hamster indicate another route of AA-NAT regulation. Elevated nocturnal levels of Aa-nat mRNA were strongly suppressed following light exposure or adrenergic antagonist administration, demonstrating the involvement of norepinephrine in the stimulation of melatonin synthesis. However, administration of adrenergic agonists during the day did not increase Aa-nat mRNA unless a protein synthesis inhibitor was given during the previous night. This indicates that an inhibitory protein, synthesized at night, prevents melatonin synthesis during the day. By contrast, a protein synthesis inhibitor given at the beginning of the night markedly reduced Aa-nat mRNA, suggesting that a stimulatory protein (transcription factor?) is necessary for Aa-nat gene transcription at night. Noteworthy, hamsters raised in long photoperiod were responsive to adrenergic agonist injection only in the first hour after light onset, a response that may be important in this photoperiodic species in which the melatonin peak extends into the morning hours in a short photoperiod.

  1. Calcium and photoentrainment in chick pineal cells revisited: effects of caffeine, thapsigargin, EGTA, and light on the melatonin rhythm.

    PubMed

    Zatz, M; Heath, J R

    1995-09-01

    Chick pineal cells in dispersed cell culture display a persistent, photosensitive, circadian rhythm of melatonin production and release. Light pulses have at least two distinguishable effects on these cells, i.e., acute suppression of melatonin output and phase shifts (entrainment) of the underlying circadian pacemaker. Previous results linked calcium influx through voltage-sensitive calcium channels in the plasma membrane to acute regulation of melatonin synthesis but denied a role for such influx in entrainment. Those experiments did not, however, address the role of intracellular calcium metabolism. Here we describe the effects of pulses of caffeine, thapsigargin, and EGTA on the melatonin rhythm, and their interactions with the effects of light pulses. Caffeine had two distinguishable effects on these cells, acute enhancement of melatonin output (attributable to phosphodiesterase inhibition) and phase shifts of the circadian pacemaker with a light-like pattern (attributable to effects on intracellular calcium). Phase shifts induced by light and caffeine were not additive. Thapsigargin (which specifically blocks the pump that replenishes intracellular calcium stores, thereby increasing cytoplasmic calcium and depleting intracellular stores) had no phase-shifting effects by itself but reduced the size of the phase advances induced by caffeine or light. Low calcium solution acutely suppressed melatonin output without inducing phase shifts or affecting those induced by caffeine or light. However, addition of EGTA (which specifically chelates calcium, thereby lowering cytoplasmic calcium and depleting intracellular stores) did reduce the size of phase advances induced by caffeine or light, in normal medium or in low calcium solution, without inducing a phase shift by itself at that phase. Taken together, these results point toward a role for intracellular calcium fluxes in entrainment of the circadian pacemaker.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Aging and Oxidative Stress Decrease Pineal Elongation Factor 2: In Vivo Protective Effect of Melatonin in Young Rats Treated With Cumene Hydroperoxide.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Mario F; Argüelles, Sandro; Cano, Mercedes; Marotta, Francesco; Ayala, Antonio

    2017-01-01

    We studied the alterations of Elongation Factor 2 (eEF2) in the pineal gland of aged rats as well as the possible protective role of exogenous melatonin on these changes in young rats treated with cumene hydroperoxide (CH), a compound that promotes lipid peroxidation and inhibits protein synthesis. The study was performed using male Wistar rats of 3 (control), 12, and 24 months and 3-month-old rats treated with CH, melatonin, and CH plus melatonin. We found that pineal eEF-2 is affected by aging and CH, these changes being prevented by exogenous melatonin in the case of CH-treated rats. The proteomic studies show that many other proteins are affected by aging and oxidative stress in the pineal gland. The results suggest that one of the possible mechanisms underlying pineal gland dysfunction during aging is the effect of lipid peroxidation on eEF-2, which is a key component of protein synthesis machinery. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 182-190, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Antioxidant properties of melatonin--an emerging mystery.

    PubMed

    Beyer, C E; Steketee, J D; Saphier, D

    1998-11-15

    Over three centuries ago, the French philosopher René Descartes described the pineal gland as "the seat of the soul." However, it was not until the late 1950s that the chemical identity and biosynthesis of melatonin, the principal hormone secreted by the pineal body, were revealed. Melatonin, named from the Greek melanos, meaning black, and tonos, meaning color, is a biogenic amine with structural similarities to serotonin. The mechanisms mediating the synthesis of melatonin are transcriptionally regulated by the photoperiodic environment. Once synthesized, the neurohormone is a biologic modulator of mood, sleep, sexual behavior, reproductive alterations, immunologic function, and circadian rhythms. Moreover, melatonin exerts its regulatory roles through high-affinity, pertussis toxin-sensitive, G-protein (or guanine nucleotide binding protein) coupled receptors that reside primarily in the eye, kidney, gastrointestinal tract, blood vessels, and brain. Additional evidence also indicates a role for melatonin in aging and age-related diseases, probably related to its efficient free radical scavenger (or antioxidant) activity. The potential clinical benefit of melatonin as an antioxidant is remarkable, suggesting that it may be of use in the treatment of many pathophysiological disease states including various cancers, hypertension, pulmonary diseases, and a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. This review summarizes the biosynthesis of melatonin and its many endocrine and physiological functions, including its therapeutic potential in human disease states. Emphasis is placed on the recent speculations indicating that this pineal hormone serves as an endogenous antioxidant agent with proficient free radical scavenging activity.

  6. Effect of TNF-alpha on the melatonin synthetic pathway in the rat pineal gland: basis for a 'feedback' of the immune response on circadian timing.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Pedro A C M; Cecon, Erika; Markus, Regina P; Ferreira, Zulma S

    2006-11-01

    A retino-hypothalamic-sympathetic pathway drives the nocturnal surge of pineal melatonin production that determines the synchronization of pineal function with the environmental light/dark cycle. In many studies, melatonin has been implicated in the modulation of the inflammatory response. However, scant information on the feedback action of molecules present in the blood on the pineal gland during the time course of an inflammatory response is available. Here we analyzed the effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and corticosterone on the transcription of the Aa-nat, hiomt and 14-3-3 protein genes in denervated pineal glands of rats stimulated for 5 hr with norepinephrine, using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The transcription of Aa-nat, a gene encoding the key enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis, together with the synthesis of the melatonin precursor N-acetylserotonin, was inhibited by TNF-alpha. This inhibition was transient, and a preincubation of TNF-alpha for more than 24 hr had no detectable effect. In fact, a protein(s) transcribed, later on, as shown by cycloheximide, was responsible for the reversal of the inhibition of Aa-nat transcription. In addition, corticosterone induced a potentiation of norepinephrine-induced Aa-nat transcription even after 48 hr of incubation. These data support the hypothesis that the nocturnal surge in melatonin is impaired at the beginning of an inflammatory response and restored either during the shutdown of an acute response or in a chronic inflammatory pathology. Here, we introduce a new molecular pathway involved in the feedback of an inflammatory response on pineal activity, and provide a molecular basis for understanding the expression of circadian timing in injured organisms.

  7. Early-life sleep deprivation persistently depresses melatonin production and bio-energetics of the pineal gland: potential implications for the development of metabolic deficiency.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li-You; Tiong, Cheng; Tsai, Chung-Hung; Liao, Wen-Chieh; Yang, Shun-Fa; Youn, Su-Chung; Mai, Fu-Der; Chang, Hung-Ming

    2015-03-01

    Early-life sleep deprivation (ESD) is a serious condition with severe metabolic sequelae. The pineal hormone melatonin plays an important role in homeostatic regulation of metabolic function. Considering norepinephrine-mediated Ca(2+) influx and subsequent protein kinase A (PKA) activation is responsible for downstream cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation and melatonin biosynthesis, the present study determined whether Ca(2+) expression, together with the molecular machinery participated in melatonin production would significantly alter after ESD. Weaning rats subjected to chronic ESD and maintained naturally (light:dark cycle = 12:12) to adulthood were processed for time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry together with spectrometric assay to detect the Ca(2+) signaling, adrenoreceptors, PKA, phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) as well as the serum level of melatonin, respectively. Pineal bio-energetics and metabolic function were determined by measuring the cytochrome oxidase activity and serum level of glucose, triglyceride, insulin, high- and low-density lipoproteins, respectively. Results indicated that in normal rats, strong Ca(2+) signaling along with intense adrenoreceptors, PKA, and pCREB activities were all detected in pinealocytes. Enhanced Ca(2+) imaging and signaling pathway corresponded well with intact bio-energetics, normal melatonin production and metabolic activity. However, following ESD, not only Ca(2+) but also pineal signaling activities were all significantly decreased. Blood analysis showed reduced melatonin level and impaired metabolic function after ESD. As depressed Ca(2+)-mediated signaling pathway and melatonin biosynthesis are positively correlated with the development of metabolic dysfunction, supplementary use of melatonin in childhood may thus serve as a practical way to prevent or counteract the ESD-induced metabolic deficiency.

  8. Melatonin is synthesised by yeast during alcoholic fermentation in wines.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Naranjo, M Isabel; Gil-Izquierdo, Angel; Troncoso, Ana M; Cantos-Villar, Emma; Garcia-Parrilla, M Carmen

    2011-06-15

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a neurohormone produced in the pineal gland. Its biological properties are related to the circadian rhythm. Recently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) accepted the health claim related to melatonin and the alleviation of subjective feelings of jet lag. This molecule has been detected in some foods. In this work, 13 grape varieties were studied; 7 monovarietal wines were produced in an experimental winery under strictly controlled conditions and were sampled in different steps. The grape varieties used to make the wines were: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Tintilla de Rota, Palomino Fino and Alpha red. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) unequivocally confirmed the presence of melatonin in wines. The main contribution of this paper is the results that clearly show that melatonin is synthesised during the winemaking process, specifically after the alcoholic fermentation. Indeed, melatonin is absent in grapes and musts and is formed during alcoholic fermentation.

  9. Melatonin and human reproduction: shedding light on the darkness hormone.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Venkatramanujam; Spence, Warren D; Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu R; Zakharia, Rahima; Bhatnagar, Kunwar P; Brzezinski, Amnon

    2009-12-01

    Melatonin, N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a molecule with diverse physiological functions. This neuro-hormone affects reproductive performance in a wide variety of species. In most animals, but not exclusively all, melatonin has an antigonadotrophic effect. The seasonal changes in the number of hours per day that melatonin is secreted mediate the temporal coupling of reproductive activity to seasonal changes in day-length. These observations stimulated a search for a role for the pineal gland and melatonin in human reproduction. Clinical experience related to this issue has yielded inconclusive and sometimes conflicting results. This article reviews the current available evidence concerning the effects of melatonin on human reproductive processes (e.g., puberty, ovulation, pregnancy, and fertility). Possible reasons for the vagueness and elusiveness of the clinical effects are discussed.

  10. A survey of molecular details in the human pineal gland in the light of phylogeny, structure, function and chronobiological diseases.

    PubMed

    Stehle, Jörg H; Saade, Anastasia; Rawashdeh, Oliver; Ackermann, Katrin; Jilg, Antje; Sebestény, Tamás; Maronde, Erik

    2011-08-01

    The human pineal gland is a neuroendocrine transducer that forms an integral part of the brain. Through the nocturnally elevated synthesis and release of the neurohormone melatonin, the pineal gland encodes and disseminates information on circadian time, thus coupling the outside world to the biochemical and physiological internal demands of the body. Approaches to better understand molecular details behind the rhythmic signalling in the human pineal gland are limited but implicitly warranted, as human chronobiological dysfunctions are often associated with alterations in melatonin synthesis. Current knowledge on melatonin synthesis in the human pineal gland is based on minimally invasive analyses, and by the comparison of signalling events between different vertebrate species, with emphasis put on data acquired in sheep and other primates. Together with investigations using autoptic pineal tissue, a remnant silhouette of premortem dynamics within the hormone's biosynthesis pathway can be constructed. The detected biochemical scenario behind the generation of dynamics in melatonin synthesis positions the human pineal gland surprisingly isolated. In this neuroendocrine brain structure, protein-protein interactions and nucleo-cytoplasmic protein shuttling indicate furthermore a novel twist in the molecular dynamics in the cells of this neuroendocrine brain structure. These findings have to be seen in the light that an impaired melatonin synthesis is observed in elderly and/or demented patients, in individuals affected by Alzheimer's disease, Smith-Magenis syndrome, autism spectrum disorder and sleep phase disorders. Already, recent advances in understanding signalling dynamics in the human pineal gland have significantly helped to counteract chronobiological dysfunctions through a proper restoration of the nocturnal melatonin surge.

  11. Effects of ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid, A23187 and calmodulin, calcium activated neutral proteinase antagonists on melatonin secretion in perifused chick pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Agapito, M T; Pablos, M; Reiter, R J; Recio, J M; Gutierrez-Baraja, R

    1998-04-10

    We have recently described, using perifused pineal glands, that calcium influx participates in the activation of chick pineal gland. This study shows that the loss of perifused chick pineal gland activity is a complex process which seems to involve the release of calcium from intracellular stores, calmodulin and calcium-activated neutral protease (CANP). Pineal glands were perifused with Krebs medium (controls) or with Krebs medium plus the drugs ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA; calcium chelator), A23187 (calcium ionophore), EGTA plus A23187 (extra-intra cellular calcium chelation), trifluoperazine and CGS9343B (calmodulin inhibitors), and E-64 (CANP inhibitor) at the time of the natural peak of melatonin release. When EGTA or A23187 were added to the perifusion medium, no effects were observed. On the other hand, when the calcium chelator EGTA plus A23187 (free extra and intracellular calcium levels were dramatically decreased), trifluoperazine, CGS 9343B or E-64 were added to the perifusion medium melatonin synthesis increased significantly and was sustained for 8 h. We propose a prominent role for calcium output from intracellular stores in regulating melatonin production primarily by acting on Ca-calmodulin and calcium-activated neutral protease.

  12. Application of LC and LC-MS to the analysis of melatonin and serotonin in edible plants.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xin; Mazza, Giuseppe

    2011-04-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone produced by the pineal gland of animals. Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter and one of the precursors of melatonin biosynthesis. These two indoleamines have recently been reported to have widespread occurrence in many edible plants. Consuming foodstuffs containing melatonin and serotonin could raise their physiologic concentrations in blood and enhance human health. Literature concerning analytical methods suitable for determination of melatonin and serotonin in edible plants is limited, although several liquid chromatographic (LC) techniques have been used for their quantification. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) methods combine selectivity, sensitivity, and high precision, and enable the simultaneous determination of melatonin and serotonin. This work reviews LC and LC-MS techniques used to determine melatonin and serotonin, and the available data on melatonin and serotonin levels in edible plants. © 2011 Crown Copyright

  13. 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.

  14. Neural regulation of dark-induced abundance of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) and melatonin in the carp (Catla catla) pineal: an in vitro study.

    PubMed

    Seth, Mohua; Maitra, Saumen Kumar

    2011-08-01

    In all the vertebrates, synthesis of melatonin and its rhythm-generating enzyme arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) reaches its peak in the pineal during the night in a daily light-dark cycle, but the role of different neuronal signals in their regulation were unknown for any fish. Hence, the authors used specific agonist and antagonists of receptors for different neuronal signals and regulators of intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) and adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) in vitro to study their effects on the abundance of AANAT and titer of melatonin in the carp (Catla catla) pineal. Western blot analysis followed by quantitative analysis of respective immunoblot data for AANAT protein, radioimmunoassay of melatonin, and spectrophotometric analysis of Ca(2+) in the pineal revealed stimulatory effects of both adrenergic (α(1) and β(1)) and dopaminergic (D(1)) agonists and cholinergic (both nicotinic and muscarinic) antagonists, inhibition by both adrenergic and dopaminergic antagonists and cholinergic agonists, but independent of the influence of any agonists or antagonists of α(2)-adrenergic receptors. Band intensity of AANAT and concentration of melatonin in the pineal were also enhanced by the intracellular calcium-releasing agent, activators of both calcium channel and adenylate cyclase, and phophodiesterase inhibitor, but suppressed by inhibitor of calcium channel and adenylate cyclase as well as activator of phophodiesterase. Moreover, an inhibitory effect of light on the pineal AANAT and melatonin was blocked by both cAMP and proteasomal proteolysis inhibitor MG132. Collectively, these data suggest that dark-induced abundance of AANAT and melatonin synthesis in the carp pineal are a multineuronal function, in which both adrenergic (α(1) and β(1), but not α(2)) and dopaminergic signals are stimulatory, whereas cholinergic signals are inhibitory. This study also provides indications, though arguably not conclusive evidence, that in either case

  15. Eight hours of nocturnal 915 MHz radiofrequency identification (RFID) exposure reduces urinary levels of melatonin and its metabolite via pineal arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase activity in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hye Sun; Paik, Man-Jeong; Lee, Yu Hee; Lee, Yun-Sil; Choi, Hyung Do; Pack, Jeong-Ki; Kim, Nam; Ahn, Young Hwan

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the effects of whole-body exposure to the 915 MHz radiofrequency identification (RFID) on melatonin biosynthesis and the activity of rat pineal arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). Rats were exposed to RFID (whole-body specific absorption rate, 4 W/kg) for 8 h/day, 5 days/week, for weeks during the nighttime. Total volume of urine excreted during a 24-h period was collected after RFID exposure. Urinary melatonin and 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS) was measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. AANAT enzyme activity was measured using liquid biphasic dif-13 fusion assay. Protein levels and mRNA expression of AANAT was 14 measured by Western blot and reverse transcription polymerase 15 chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, respectively. Eight hours of nocturnal RFID exposure caused a significant reduction in both urinary melatonin (p = 0. 003) and 6-OHMS (p = 0. 026). Activity, protein levels, and mRNA expression of AANAT were suppressed by exposure to RFID (p < 0. 05). Our results suggest that nocturnal RFID exposure can cause reductions in the levels of both urinary melatonin and 6-OHMS, possibly due to decreased melatonin biosynthesis via suppression of Aanat gene transcription in the rat pineal gland.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Day or night administration of ketamine and pentobarbital differentially affect circadian rhythms of pineal melatonin secretion and locomotor activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Mihara, Takahiro; Kikuchi, Tatsuaki; Kamiya, Yoshinori; Koga, Motokazu; Uchimoto, Kazuhiro; Kurahashi, Kiyoyasu; Goto, Takahisa

    2012-10-01

    Surgery with general anesthesia disturbs circadian rhythms, which may lead to postoperative sleep disorders and delirium in patients. However, it is unclear how circadian rhythms are affected by different anesthetics administered at different times during the rest-activity cycle. We hypothesized that pentobarbital (an agonist at the γ-aminobutyric acid A receptors) and ketamine (an antagonist at the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors) would have differential effects on circadian rhythms, and these effects would also be influenced by the time of their administration (the active versus resting phase). Rats were divided into 4 groups according to the anesthetic administered (pentobarbital or ketamine) and the timing of intraperitoneal administration (active/night phase or resting/day phase). Using online pineal microdialysis, we analyzed pineal melatonin secretion and locomotor activity rhythms in rats under a light/dark (12/12-hour) cycle for 5 days after anesthesia and microdialysis catheter implantation. The data were analyzed for rhythmicity by cosinor analysis. Ketamine administered during the resting phase produced 65- and 153-minute phase advances, respectively, in melatonin secretion and locomotor activity rhythms on the first day after anesthesia. In contrast, ketamine administered during the active phase produced 43- and 235-minute phase delays. Pentobarbital had no effect on the phase of either melatonin secretion or locomotor activity, irrespective of the timing of administration. When administered during the active phase, both anesthetics decreased the amplitude of melatonin secretion on the day after anesthesia; when administered during the resting phase, however, neither anesthetic affected the amplitude. The amplitude of locomotor activity decreased in all animals for 3 days after anesthesia. Ketamine has opposite phase-shifting effects on circadian rhythms according to the time of administration, whereas pentobarbital has no effect. Furthermore, both

  19. Importance of the pineal gland, endogenous prostaglandins and sensory nerves in the gastroprotective actions of central and peripheral melatonin against stress-induced damage.

    PubMed

    Brzozowski, Tomasz; Konturek, Peter C; Zwirska-Korczala, Krystyna; Konturek, Stanislaw J; Brzozowska, Iwona; Drozdowicz, Danuta; Sliwowski, Zbigniew; Pawlik, Michal; Pawlik, Wieslaw W; Hahn, Eckhart G

    2005-11-01

    Melatonin attenuates acute gastric lesions induced by topical strong irritants because of scavenging of free radicals, but its role in the pathogenesis of stress-induced gastric lesions has been sparingly investigated. In this study we compared the effects of intragastric (i.g.) or intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of melatonin and its precursor, L-tryptophan, with or without concurrent treatment with luzindole, a selective antagonist of melatonin MT2 receptors, on gastric lesions induced by water immersion and restraint stress (WRS). The involvement of pineal gland, endogenous prostaglandins (PG) and sensory nerves in gastroprotective action of melatonin and L-tryptophan against WRS was studied in intact or pinealectomized rats or those treated with indomethacin or rofecoxib to suppress cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2, respectively, and with capsaicin to induce functional ablation of the sensory nerves. In addition, the influence of i.c.v. and i.g. melatonin on gastric secretion was tested in a separate group of rats equipped with gastric fistulas. At 3.5 hr after the end of WRS, the number of gastric lesions was counted, the gastric blood flow (GBF) was determined by H2-gas clearance technique and plasma melatonin and gastrin levels were measured by specific radioimmunoassay (RIA). Biopsy mucosal samples were taken for determination of expression of mRNA for COX-1 and COX-2 by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and of the mucosal generation of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by RIA. Melatonin applied i.g. (1.25-10 mg/kg) or i.c.v. (1.25-10 microg/kg) dose-dependently inhibited gastric acid secretion and significantly attenuated the WRS-induced gastric damage. This protective effect of melatonin was accompanied by a significant rise in the GBF and plasma melatonin and gastrin levels and in mucosal generation of PGE2. Pinealectomy, which suppressed plasma melatonin levels, aggravated the gastric lesions induced by WRS and these effects

  20. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Influence of light/dark, seasonal and lunar cycles on serum melatonin levels and synaptic bodies number of the pineal gland of the rat.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Soriano, F; Ruiz-Torner, A; Armañanzas, E; Valverde-Navarro, A A

    2002-01-01

    Synaptic bodies (SB) are ultrastructural organelles observed in the pinealocytes of mammals. According to its shape, they have been classified into synaptic ribbons (SR), synaptic spherules (SS), and intermediate synaptic bodies (ISB). They have been related to the melatonin regulation and production mechanisms of the pineal gland. Circadian and circannual fluctuations of both melatonin and SB have been reported. The possibility that other external factors, apart from light-dark or seasonal cycles, might influence pineal function has been suggested. We studied the evolution of the number of SB and serum melatonin levels not only during light-dark and seasonal phases but also during lunar cycles. Forty male wistar rats were used. Experiment was first carried out in winter and repeated identically in spring. Each season, one group of animals was killed during the new-moon days and a second group during the full-moon days: half of both groups in the photophase and the other half in the scotophase. The number of SB was measured at electron microscopic level whereas serum melatonin levels were determined by radioimmunoassay techniques. Main results showed that SR number and serum melatonin levels were higher during scotophases, winter and full-moon days. The SS only showed a light predominance during winter, whereas predominance of the ISB was found only during the scotophases. These results support the influence of the photophasic factors on the SR and ISB variations. In the case of the SS the influence of the lunar cycles is always dependent on the other factors. Finally, the serum level of melatonin is clearly influenced by the photophasic rhythms and the seasonal periods but not by the lunar cycles.

  3. Analyses of signal transduction cascades reveal an essential role of calcium ions for regulation of melatonin biosynthesis in the light-sensitive pineal organ of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

    PubMed

    Kroeber, S; Meissl, H; Maronde, E; Korf, H W

    2000-06-01

    Signal transduction processes regulating melatonin production in the light-sensitive trout pineal organ were investigated by immunocytochemical and immunochemical demonstration of phosphorylated cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein (pCREB) and measurements of cyclic AMP, melatonin, and calcium levels. Melatonin levels were tightly controlled by light and darkness. Elevation of cyclic AMP levels by 8-bromo-cyclic AMP, forskolin, and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine increased the levels of pCREB and melatonin in light- or dark-adapted pineal organs in vitro. Without pharmacological treatment, the levels of pCREB and cyclic AMP remained constant for several hours before and after light onset. Inhibition of cyclic AMP-dependent proteasomal proteolysis by lactacystin, MG 132, and calpain inhibitor I did not prevent the rapid, light-induced suppression of melatonin biosynthesis. However, changes in the intracellular calcium concentration by drugs affecting voltage-gated calcium channels of the L type and intracellular calcium oscillations (cobalt chloride, nifedipine, Bay K 8644) had dramatic effects on the rapid, light-dependent changes in melatonin levels. These effects were not accompanied by changes in cyclic AMP levels. Thus, the rapid, light-dependent changes in melatonin levels in the trout pineal organ are regulated apparently by a novel calcium signaling pathway and do not involve changes in cyclic AMP levels, cyclic AMP-dependent proteasomal proteolysis, or phosphorylation of cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein.

  4. Adrenergic activation of melatonin secretion in ovine pineal explants in short-term superfusion culture occurs via protein synthesis independent and dependent phenomena.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The ovine pineal is generally considered as an interesting model for the study on adrenergic regulation of melatonin secretion due to some functional similarities with this gland in the human. The present investigations, performed in the superfusion culture of pineal explants, demonstrated that the norepinephrine-induced elevation of melatonin secretion in ovine pinealocytes comprised of two subsequent periods: a rapid increase phase and a slow increase phase. The first one included the quick rise in release of N-acetylserotonin and melatonin, occurring parallel to elevation of NE concentration in the medium surrounding explants. This rapid increase phase was not affected by inhibition of translation. The second, slow increase phase began after NE level had reached the maximum concentration in the culture medium and lasted about two hours. It was completely abolished by the treatment with translation inhibitors. The obtained results showed for the first time that the regulation of N-acetylserotonin synthesis in pinealocytes of some species like the sheep involves the on/off mechanism, which is completely independent of protein synthesis and works very fast. They provided strong evidence pointing to the need of revision of the current opinion that arylalkylamines N-acetyltransferase activity in pinealocytes is controlled exclusively by changes in enzyme abundance.

  5. Effect of melatonin and 5-methoxytryptamine administration on the testis and pineal gland activity of the fresh-water snake, Natrix piscator.

    PubMed

    Haldar, C; Pandey, R

    1988-01-01

    Effects of melatonin (aMT) and 5-methoxytryptamine (MT) were studied on the testicular activity cycle of the fresh-water snake, Natrix piscator. The subcutaneous implantation and the injections (morning as well as evening) of these two methoxyindoles prevented testicular recrudescence, retarded the testicular active phase, and accelerated the rate of regression of testes, while having no effect on the inactive testes. Contrary to this, these two compounds increased the pineal gland weight during different reproductive phases. These results revealed that both aMT and MT, whether they were continuously released through silastic capsule implants or administered through daily periodic injections, produced inhibitory effects on the testicular function.

  6. The role of melatonin in anaesthesia and critical care

    PubMed Central

    Kurdi, Madhuri S; Patel, Tushar

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland. It is widely present in both plant and animal sources. In several countries, it is sold over the counter as tablets and as food supplement or additive. Currently, it is most often used to prevent jet lag and to induce sleep. It has been and is being used in several clinical trials with different therapeutic approaches. It has sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and chronobiotic effects. In the present review, the potential therapeutic benefits of melatonin in anaesthesia and critical care are presented. This article aims to review the physiological properties of melatonin and how these could prove useful for several clinical applications in perioperative management, critical care and pain medicine. The topic was handsearched from textbooks and journals and electronically from PubMed, and Google scholar using text words. PMID:23825812

  7. The foetal pig pineal gland is richly innervated by nerve fibres containing catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and C-terminal flanking peptide of NPY, but it does not secrete melatonin.

    PubMed

    Bulc, Michał; Lewczuk, Bogdan; Prusik, Magdalena; Całka, Jarosław

    2013-05-01

    Innervation of the mammalian pineal gland during prenatal development is poorly recognized. Therefore, immunofluorescence studies of the pineals of 70- and 90-day-old foetuses of the domestic pig were performed using antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and C-terminal flanking peptide of NPY (CPON). The investigated glands were supplied by numerous nerve fibres containing TH and DβH. The density of these fibres was higher in the distal and middle parts of the gland than in the proximal one. NPY and CPON were identified in the majority of DβH-positive fibres as well as in a small population of DβH-negative fibres localized mainly in the proximal part of the pineal. The immunoreactive fibres were more numerous in 90-day-old foetuses than in 70-day-old ones. The effect of norepinephrine on melatonin secretion by the foetal pineals in the short-term organ culture was studied to determine the role of DβH-positive fibres during prenatal life. For the same purpose melatonin was measured in the blood in the umbilical cords and in the jugular vein of the mother. The pineals of both groups of foetuses did not secrete melatonin in the organ culture, independently of the presence or absence of norepinephrine in the medium. Melatonin concentrations in the blood in the umbilical cords of foetuses from the same litter and in the jugular vein of their mother were similar. The presence of adrenergic nerve fibres in the pig pineal during gestation does not seem to be associated with the control of melatonin secretion.

  8. Modulation of anticancer cytokines IL-2 and IL-12 by melatonin and the other pineal indoles 5-methoxytryptamine and 5-methoxytryptophol in the treatment of human neoplasms.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, P

    2000-01-01

    Lymphocyte number still remains one of the most important immune parameters predicting the prognosis of advanced cancer patients. IL-2 and IL-12 are the main antitumor cytokines in humans, and their effect is modulated by the neuroendocrine system, mainly by the pineal gland through the circadian release of melatonin (MLT) and perhaps that of other indole hormones, such as 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MTT), and 5-methoxytryptophol (5-MTP). MLT has been proven to exert important antitumor immunomodulating effects, whereas the possible immunomodulatory properties of the other pineal indoles are still controversial. In an attempt to better define the pineal neuroendocrine regulation of the anticancer cytokine network, we have evaluated in metastatic solid-tumor patients the effects on lymphocyte number induced by different neuroimmune regimens, consisting of MLT alone (20 mg/day orally in the evening), subcutaneous (s.c.) low-dose IL-2 alone (3 MIU/day in the evening for 6 days/week), s.c. low-dose IL-12 alone (0.5 mcg/kg once/week in the morning), IL-12 plus MLT, IL-2 plus MLT, and IL-2 plus MLT plus 5-MTT (10 mg/day orally in the afternoon) plus 5-MTP (5 mg/day orally at noon). The results showed the following evidence: (1) MLT alone is unable to induce lymphocytosis; (2) MLT significantly enhances IL-2-induced lymphocytosis; (3) IL-12 alone determines lymphocytopenia, which can be reversed by MLT; (4) IL-2 plus IL-12 induces a very pronounced lymphocytosis, which can be further amplified by MLT; (5) a total pineal endocrine replacement therapy with MLT, 5-MTT, and 5-MTP further increases IL-2-induced lymphocytosis with respect to MLT plus IL-2 alone. Therefore, this study confirms that IL-2- and IL-12-dependent anticancer immunity is under a pineal modulation.

  9. Is melatonin useful for jet lag?

    PubMed

    Tortorolo, Francisco; Farren, Florencia; Rada, Gabriel

    2015-12-21

    Jet lag syndrome is an exogenous circadian rhythm sleep disorder, frequently reported in travelers who cross multiple time zones in a short period of time. Oral melatonin -a pineal neurohormone normally produced during darkness and responsible for regulating the body's circadian rhythms- has been used as treatment for this condition. Searching in Epistemonikos database, which is maintained by screening 30 databases, we identified four systematic reviews including 11 randomized trials. We combined the evidence using meta-analysis and generated a summary of findings table following the GRADE approach. We concluded the use of oral melatonin probably reduces symptoms associated with jet lag syndrome. It is not clear whether its use produces adverse effects; however, these would be probably mild.

  10. Fluoride-induced oxidative stress in rat's brain and its amelioration by buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) pineal proteins and melatonin.

    PubMed

    Bharti, Vijay K; Srivastava, R S

    2009-08-01

    Fluoride (F) becomes toxic at higher doses and induces some adverse effects on various organs, including brain. The mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity caused by excess fluoride still remain unknown. The aims of this study were to examine F-induced oxidative stress (OS) and role of melatonin (MEL) and buffalo pineal proteins (PP) against possible F-induced OS in brain of rats. The 24 rats were taken in present study and were divided into four groups: control, F, F + PP, and F + MEL. The F group was given 150 mg/L orally for 28 days. Combined 150 ppm F and 100 microg/kg BW (i.p.) PP and F (150 ppm) + MEL (10 mg/kg BW, i.p.) were also administered. The activities of enzymatic, viz., superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), and non-enzymatic, viz., reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration, and the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the brain tissue were measured to assess the OS. Fluoride administration significantly increased brain MDA compared with control group, while GSH levels were decreased in fluoride-treated groups, accompanied by the markedly reduced SOD, GPx, GR, and SOD activity. Buffalo PP and MEL administration caused brain MDA to decrease but caused SOD, GPx, GR, GSH, and CAT activities to increase to significant levels in F-treated animals. Together, our data provide direct evidence that buffalo PP and MEL may protect fluoride-induced OS in brain of rats through mechanisms involving enhancement of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant defense system. Therefore, this study suggested that PP and MEL can be useful in control of neurotoxicity induced by fluoride.

  11. Melatonin--a pleiotropic, orchestrating regulator molecule.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger; Cardinali, Daniel P; Srinivasan, Venkatramanujam; Spence, D Warren; Brown, Gregory M; Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu R

    2011-03-01

    Melatonin, the neurohormone of the pineal gland, is also produced by various other tissues and cells. It acts via G protein-coupled receptors expressed in various areas of the central nervous system and in peripheral tissues. Parallel signaling mechanisms lead to cell-specific control and recruitment of downstream factors, including various kinases, transcription factors and ion channels. Additional actions via nuclear receptors and other binding sites are likely. By virtue of high receptor density in the circadian pacemaker, melatonin is involved in the phasing of circadian rhythms and sleep promotion. Additionally, it exerts effects on peripheral oscillators, including phase coupling of parallel cellular clocks based on alternate use of core oscillator proteins. Direct central and peripheral actions concern the up- or downregulation of various proteins, among which inducible and neuronal NO synthases seem to be of particular importance for antagonizing inflammation and excitotoxicity. The methoxyindole is also synthesized in several peripheral tissues, so that the total content of tissue melatonin exceeds by far the amounts in the circulation. Emerging fields in melatonin research concern receptor polymorphism in relation to various diseases, the control of sleep, the metabolic syndrome, weight control, diabetes type 2 and insulin resistance, and mitochondrial effects. Control of electron flux, prevention of bottlenecks in the respiratory chain and electron leakage contribute to the avoidance of damage by free radicals and seem to be important in neuroprotection, inflammatory diseases and, presumably, aging. Newly discovered influences on sirtuins and downstream factors indicate that melatonin has a role in mitochondrial biogenesis.

  12. Melatonin and aging. A brief survey.

    PubMed

    Rúzsás, Csilla; Mess, Béla

    2000-01-01

    The relationship between the pineal gland and aging has been assumed already nearly a century ago. Recently, melatonin was considered by some authors as a "wonder drug." The present paper tries to summarize the relationship between melatonin and aging in three points. 1. Decline of melatonin production during aging. 2. The role of the pineal gland in the regulation of the ovarian cycle in aged females. 3. The antioxydant effect of melatonin and aging. The age-related decline of pineal melatonin production is due to the degenerative changes of the neural structures (serotonergic and noradrenergic neuron systems) innervating the pineal gland and the suprachiasmatic nuclei rather than to the degeneration of the pineal tissue itself. The decreased melatonin production of the pineal gland preceds the destruction of ovarian cyclicity which can be partly counteracted by melatonin or by 5-hydroxytryptophane administration. The antioxydant effect of melatonin might explain its lifespan-prolonging effect, at least to a certain degree.

  13. [Circadian changes of the density of melatonin receptors 1A in the neurons of the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the rat hypothalamus under conditions of diverse functional activiity of the pineal gland].

    PubMed

    Pishak, V P; Bulyk, R Ie

    2008-01-01

    An immunohistochemical study of the density of melatonin receptors 1A in the neurons of the rat suprachiasmatic nuclei with diverse functional activity of the pineal gland has been carried out. The density of melatonin receptors 1A under conditions of the physiological function of the pineal gland was characterized by clear-cut diurnal variations. Simultaneously, a dysfunction of the gland results in their marked disturbance. In case of a hypofunction of the pineal body the density of the structures was reliably lower than in case of hyperfunction. It has been demonstrated that in case of a suppressed activity of the pineal body the maximum number of melatonin receptors 1A in the neurons of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei shifts from 02.00 a.m. to 02.00 p.m. and constitutes 0.35+/-0.012 conventional units (c.u.) of density, whereas a larger index is noticed at 20 hours making up 0.43+/-0.015 c.u. of density when the gland is activated.

  14. Clinical aspects of melatonin.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Russel J; Korkmaz, Ahmet

    2008-11-01

    Melatonin is produced in the human pineal gland, particularly at night, with the circadian rhythm of blood melatonin levels closely paralleling its production within the pineal gland. Light exposure at night, or rapid transmeridian travel severely compromises the circadian production of melatonin. The disturbed melatonin rhythm contributes to jet lag and sleep inefficiency, both of which are improved by melatonin administration. Melatonin is also a highly effective direct free radical scavenger and antioxidant. In this capacity, melatonin reduces experimental cataractogenesis, traumatic injury to the spinal cord and brain, and protects against oxidative damage to neurons and glia in models of stroke, Parkinsonism, and Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, melatonin and its metabolites are highly effective in protecting against ionizing radiation. Finally, melatonin may be a treatment for hypertension. Melatonin's high efficacy, its high safety profile, and its virtual lack of toxicity make it of interest in clinical medicine.

  15. Immunotherapy with subcutaneous low-dose interleukin-2 and the pineal indole melatonin as a new effective therapy in advanced cancers of the digestive tract.

    PubMed Central

    Lissoni, P.; Barni, S.; Tancini, G.; Ardizzoia, A.; Rovelli, F.; Cazzaniga, M.; Brivio, F.; Piperno, A.; Aldeghi, R.; Fossati, D.

    1993-01-01

    The advanced tumours of the digestive tract are generally less responsive to conventional chemotherapies. Moreover, preliminary results with IL-2 immunotherapy also seem to show a low efficacy. On the basis of our previous studies suggesting s synergistic action between IL-2 and some neurohormones, such as the pineal indole MLT, a clinical trial was performed to investigate the clinical efficacy and tolerability of an immunotherapy with IL-2 plus MLT in patients with advanced neoplasms of the digestive tract. The study included 35 patients (colorectal cancer: 14; gastric cancer: 8; hepatocarcinoma: 6; pancreas adenocarcinoma: 7). Distant organ metastases were present in 31/35 patients. MLT was given orally at a daily dose of 50 mg at 8.00 p.m., starting 7 days before IL-2, which was given subcutaneously at a dose of 3 million IU/day at 8.00 p.m. for 6 days/week for 4 weeks, corresponding to one cycle of immunotherapy. In nonprogressed patients, a second cycle was given after a 21-day rest period. A complete response was achieved in two patients (gastric cancer: 1; hepatocarcinoma: 1). Six other patients obtained a partial response: (gastric cancer: 2; hepatocarcinoma: 2; colon cancer: 1; pancreas cancer: 1). Therefore, the overall response rate was 8/35 (23%). Stable disease was obtained in 11/35 (31%) patients, whereas the remaining 16 patients (46%) progressed. The response rate was significantly higher in untreated patients than in those previously treated with chemotherapy. Toxicity was low in all patients, who received the treatment as a home therapy. This study shows that the immunotherapy with low-dose IL-2 plus the pineal hormone MLT is a new well tolerated and effective therapy of advanced tumours of the digestive tract, mainly in gastric cancer and hepatocarcinoma. PMID:8512825

  16. A randomized study of chemotherapy with cisplatin plus etoposide versus chemoendocrine therapy with cisplatin, etoposide and the pineal hormone melatonin as a first-line treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients in a poor clinical state.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, P; Paolorossi, F; Ardizzoia, A; Barni, S; Chilelli, M; Mancuso, M; Tancini, G; Conti, A; Maestroni, G J

    1997-08-01

    Recent studies suggest that the pineal hormone melatonin may reduce chemotherapy-induced immune and bone marrow damage. In addition, melatonin may exert potential oncostatic effects either by stimulating host anticancer immune defenses or by inhibiting tumor growth factor production. On this basis, we have performed a randomized study of chemotherapy alone vs. chemotherapy plus melatonin in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLC) with poor clinical status. The study included 70 consecutive advanced NSCLC patients who were randomized to receive chemotherapy alone with cisplatin (20 mg/m2/day i.v. for 3 days) and etoposide (100 mg/m2/day i.v. for 3 days) or chemotherapy plus melatonin (20 mg/day orally in the evening). Cycles were repeated at 21-day intervals. Clinical response and toxicity were evaluated according to World Health Organization criteria. A complete response (CR) was achieved in 1/34 patients concomitantly treated with melatonin and in none of the patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Partial response (PR) occurred in 10/34 and in 6/36 patients treated with or without melatonin, respectively. Thus, the tumor response rate was higher in patients receiving melatonin (11/34 vs. 6/35), without, however, statistically significant differences. The percent of 1-year survival was significantly higher in patients treated with melatonin plus chemotherapy than in those who received chemotherapy alone (15/34 vs. 7/36, P < 0.05). Finally, chemotherapy was well tolerated in patients receiving melatonin, and in particular the frequency of myelosuppression, neuropathy, and cachexia was significantly lower in the melatonin group. This study shows that the concomitant administration of melatonin may improve the efficacy of chemotherapy, mainly in terms of survival time, and reduce chemotherapeutic toxicity in advanced NSCLC, at least in patients in poor clinical condition.

  17. Rhythmic melatonin secretion does not correlate with the expression of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, inducible cyclic amp early repressor, period1 or cryptochrome1 mRNA in the sheep pineal.

    PubMed

    Johnston, J D; Bashforth, R; Diack, A; Andersson, H; Lincoln, G A; Hazlerigg, D G

    2004-01-01

    The pineal gland, through nocturnal melatonin, acts as a neuroendocrine transducer of daily and seasonal time. Melatonin synthesis is driven by rhythmic activation of the rate-limiting enzyme, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT). In ungulates, AA-NAT mRNA is constitutively high throughout the 24-h cycle, and melatonin production is primarily controlled through effects on AA-NAT enzyme activity; this is in contrast to dominant transcriptional control in rodents. To determine whether there has been a selective loss of circadian control of AA-NAT mRNA expression in the sheep pineal, we measured the expression of other genes known to be rhythmic in rodents (inducible cAMP early repressor ICER, the circadian clock genes Period1 and Cryptochrome1, as well as AA-NAT). We first assayed gene expression in pineal glands collected from Soay sheep adapted to short days (Light: dark, 8-h: 16-h), and killed at 4-h intervals through 24-h. We found no evidence for rhythmic expression of ICER, AA-NAT or Cryptochrome1 under these conditions, whilst Period1 showed a low amplitude rhythm of expression, with higher values during the dark period. In a second group of animals, lights out was delayed by 8-h during the final 24-h sampling period, a manipulation that causes an immediate shortening of the period of melatonin secretion. This did not significantly affect the expression of ICER, AA-NAT or Cryptochrome1 in the pineal, whilst a slight suppressive effect on overall Per1 levels was observed. The attenuated response to photoperiod change appears to be specific to the ovine pineal, as the first long day induced rapid changes of Period1 and ICER expression in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei and pituitary pars tuberalis, respectively. Overall, our data suggest a general reduction of circadian control of transcript abundance in the ovine pineal gland, consistent with a marked evolutionary divergence in the mechanism regulating melatonin production between terrestrial

  18. Therapeutic implications of melatonin in cerebral edema.

    PubMed

    Rathnasamy, Gurugirijha; Ling, Eng-Ang; Kaur, Charanjit

    2014-12-01

    Cerebral edema/brain edema refers to the accumulation of fluid in the brain and is one of the fatal conditions that require immediate medical attention. Cerebral edema develops as a consequence of cerebral trauma, cerebral infarction, hemorrhages, abscess, tumor, hypoxia, and other toxic or metabolic factors. Based on the causative factors cerebral edema is differentiated into cytotoxic cerebral edema, vasogenic cerebral edema, osmotic and interstitial cerebral edema. Treatment of cerebral edema depends on timely diagnosis and medical assistance. Pragmatic treatment strategies such as antihypertensive medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, barbiturates, steroids, glutamate and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists and trometamol are used in clinical practice. Although the above mentioned treatment approaches are being used, owing to the complexity of the mechanisms involved in cerebral edema, a single therapeutic strategy which could ameliorate cerebral edema is yet to be identified. However, recent experimental studies have suggested that melatonin, a neurohormone produced by the pineal gland, could be an effective alternative for treating cerebral edema. In animal models of stroke, melatonin was not only shown to reduce cerebral edema but also preserved the blood brain barrier. Melatonin's beneficial effects were attributed to its properties, such as being a potent anti-oxidant, and its ability to cross the blood brain barrier within minutes after its administration. This review summarizes the beneficial effects of melatonin when used for treating cerebral edema.

  19. [Morphofunctional and molecular bases of pineal gland aging].

    PubMed

    Khavinson, V Kh; Lin'kova, N S

    2012-01-01

    The review analyzed morphology, molecular and functional aspects of pineal gland aging and methods of it correction. The pineal gland is central organ, which regulates activity of neuroimmunoendocrine, antioxidant and other organisms systems. Functional activity of pineal gland is discreased at aging, which is the reason of melatonin level changing. The molecular and morphology research demonstrated, that pineal gland hadn't strongly pronounced atrophy at aging. Long-term experience showed, that peptides extract of pineal gland epithalamin and synthetic tetrapeptide on it base epithalon restored melatonin secretion in pineal gland and had strong regulatory activity at neuroimmunoendocrine and antioxidant organism systems.

  20. 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.

  1. Expression of tranferrin receptors in the pineal gland of postnatal and adult rats and its alteration in hypoxia and melatonin treatment.

    PubMed

    Kaur, C; Sivakumar, V; Ling, E A

    2007-02-01

    Transferrin receptors (Tfrc) are membrane bound glycoproteins which function to mediate cellular uptake of iron from transferrin. We examined expression of Tfrc in the pineal gland of rats of different ages from 1 day to 12 weeks. The mRNA and protein expression of Tfrc increased up to 6 weeks of age and decreased in 12 week rats. Tfrc immunoreactivity was observed on pinealocytes and macrophages/microglia. By immunoelectron microscopy, the immunoreaction in pinealocytes was observed in the cytosol, on mitochondria and plasma membrane whereas in macrophages/microglia it was localized on the plasma membrane in 1-day to 2-week old rats. In older rats, the immunoreaction product in pinealocytes was associated with the plasma membrane and mitochondria only. Iron localization was observed in pinealocytes as well as macrophages/microglia. It is suggested that Tfrc are required for uptake of iron for cell proliferation and maturation in the pineal gland upto 6 weeks of age. The significance of Tfrc expression on mitochondria is speculative. They may be involved in iron transport to the mitochondria or for regulation of the secretory activity of pinealocytes. The TfrcmRNA and protein expression increased significantly in response to hypoxia in 12-week rats and this coincided with intense iron staining of the pinealocytes and macrophages/microglia. It is concluded that increased expression of Tfrc in response to hypoxia leads to excess cellular uptake of iron which may be damaging to the cells. Melatonin administration in hypoxic rats may prove to be beneficial as it reduced the Tfrc expression.

  2. Enhancement of the efficacy of cancer chemotherapy by the pineal hormone melatonin and its relation with the psychospiritual status of cancer patients

    PubMed Central

    Messina, Giuseppina; Lissoni, Paolo; Marchiori, Paolo; Bartolacelli, Erio; Brivio, Fernando; Magotti, Luciano

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The anti-oxidant and immunomodulating natural agents may enhance the efficacy of cancer chemotherapy. One of the most important agents is the pineal hormone melatonin (MLT) which may exert both anti-oxidant and antiproliferative immunostimulating anticancer effects. This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of a biochemotherapeutic regimen in metastatic cancer patients, and its therapeutic activity in relation to the psychospiritual status of patients. METHODS: The study included 50 metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and a control group of 100 patients. Chemotherapy consisted of cisplatin plus gemcitabine. MLT was given orally at 20 mg/day in the evening. Patients were subdivided into 5 psychic profiles, as follows: spiritual faith, rationale faith, anxiety, apathy, and accusation behavior. RESULTS: Tumor response rate was significantly higher in patients treated by chemotherapy plus MLT than in those treated by chemotherapy alone (21/50 vs. 24/100, p < 0.001). However, the percentage of objective tumor regressions obtained in patients with spiritual faith was significantly higher than that found in the overall other patients concomitantly treated by chemotherapy plus MLT (6/8 vs. 15/42, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the efficacy of chemotherapy may be enhanced by the pineal hormone MLT, by representing a new promising biochemotherapeutic combination; also despite its objective ability to enhance chemotherapy efficacy, the activity of MLT is depending at least in part on the psychospiritual status of cancer patients, and it is maximal in the presence of a real spiritual faith. PMID:21526086

  3. 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.

  4. [THE CHANGES OF THE INTERRELATIONS OF THE PINEAL GLAND AND THE ORGANS OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IN RATS IN RESPONSE TO MELATONIN ADMINISTRATION IN LIGHT REGIME DISTURBANCES].

    PubMed

    Litvinenko, G I; Gritzyk, O B; Mel'nikova, Ye V; Avrorov, P A; Tenditnik, M V; Shurlygina, A V; Trufakin, V A

    2015-01-01

    In this work the correlation analysis was applied to detect the integrated response of the pineal gland (PG) and immunocompetent organs of male Wistar rats in response to administration of melatonin (MT) in light regime disturbances. Animals were kept for 14 days under natural or continuous light (CL). Then for 7 days they received the injections of either 0.9% solution of sodium chloride or MT, after which the rats were decapitated and the mass of their body, PG, thymus and spleen was determined. The lymphocyte subpopulations of the thymus and spleen were studied by flow cytometry. The amount of lipofuscin in PG was assessed by the intensity of autofluorescence in organ frozen sections in 560-600 nm wavelength range. It was found that under the influence of MT, the number of intraorgan correlations in the immune system increased, regardless of the light regime. In animals on CL treated with MT, the number of interorgan connections was reduced, while negative correlations appeared between PG lipofuscin content and cellular composition of the spleen. The synchronizing and adaptogenic effects of MT were most pronounced under conditions of CL.

  5. Melatonin Attenuates Manganese and Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Activation of BV2 Microglia.

    PubMed

    Park, Euteum; Chun, Hong Sung

    2017-02-01

    Melatonin, a naturally occurring neurohormone in the pineal gland, has been shown to exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This study examined the effects of melatonin on manganese (Mn) and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced microglial activation. Melatonin (10 μM) inhibited Mn (100 μM) and/or LPS (0.5 μg/ml)-induced phagocytotic activity of activated BV2 microglia. It also inhibited the lipid peroxidation and intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH) depletion induced by Mn and/or LPS. Melatonin effectively suppressed the upregulation of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) at both mRNA and protein levels in Mn and/or LPS-stimulated BV2 microglia. In addition, melatonin pretreatment attenuated Mn and/or LPS-induced degradation of IκB-α, nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and its activation, and the expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) in BV2 microglial cells. These results suggest that melatonin can effectively modulate phagocytosis and expression of proinflammatory mediators, and can prevent neuroinflammatory disorders accompanied by microglial activation.

  6. Can disturbances in the atmospheric electric field created by powerline corona ions disrupt melatonin production in the pineal gland?

    PubMed

    Henshaw, Denis L; Ward, Jonathan P; Matthews, James C

    2008-11-01

    Recent epidemiological studies have reported an increased risk of leukemia in adults and children near overhead high voltage powerlines at distances beyond the measured range of the direct electric and magnetic fields. Corona ions are emitted by powerlines, forming a plume that is carried away from the line by the wind. The plume generates highly variable disturbances in the atmospheric electric field of tens to a few hundred V/m on time scales from seconds to minutes. Such disturbances can be seen up to several hundred meters from powerlines. It is hypothesized that these random disturbances result in the disruption of nocturnal melatonin synthesis and related circadian rhythms, in turn leading to increased risk of a number of adverse health effects including leukemia. In support of the hypothesis, it is noted that melatonin is highly protective of oxidative damage to the human hemopoietic system. A review of electric field studies provides evidence that (i) diurnal variation in the natural atmospheric electric field may itself act as a weak Zeitgeber; (ii) melatonin disruption by electric fields occurs in rats; (iii) in humans, disturbances in circadian rhythms have been observed with artificial fields as low at 2.5 V/m. Specific suggestions are made to test the aspects of the hypothesis.

  7. Search for seasonal rhythmicity of pineal melatonin production in rats under constant laboratory conditions: spectral chronobiological analysis, and relation to solar and geomagnetic variables.

    PubMed

    Bartsch, Hella; Mecke, Dieter; Probst, Hansgeorg; Küpper, Heinz; Seebald, Eckard; Salewski, Lothar; Stehle, Thilo; Bartsch, Christian

    2012-10-01

    Earlier we reported that in a number of experiments pineal melatonin production in rats under constant laboratory conditions displayed seasonal rhythms but subsequently were not always able to confirm this. Since there was no indication under which conditions such rhythms may be present, we performed four consecutive identical experiments with untreated female Sprague-Dawley rats within the same animal room during 1997-2006. Nocturnal urine samples (19-23, 23-3, 3-7 h) were collected at monthly intervals over 494-658 d with 12 animals each in experiments I and II (1997-1999, 1999-2000), 30 animals in experiment III (2002-2004), and 15 in experiment IV (2005-2006). 6-Sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) was measured by ELISA. The excreted aMT6s at each time interval as well as total nocturnal aMT6s-excretion (19-7 h) was submitted to standard statistical analyses as well as to a spectral chronobiological analysis to determine the period lengths of the components involved which was followed by processing with the single cosinor method. Seasonal rhythm components (circannual period length: 360 ± 60 d) were detected in experiment III (2002-2004) for the overall nocturnal excretion as well as for two sub-intervals (23-3 and 3-7 h) and in one night interval of experiment II (23-3 h). Multiple components with mostly short period lengths of around 100 d and some long ones of 500-650 d were found in the other experiments. Systematic MESOR and amplitude variations were observed during the experiments, being highest in experiment II (19-7 h, also 23-3 h and 3-7 h) and lowest in experiments I and IV. These results illustrate that seasonal melatonin rhythms are not a general phenomenon in female laboratory rats indicating an involvement of unknown environmental cues. As an extension of our earlier hypothesis regarding a seasonal Zeitgeber function of the horizontal intensity H of the geomagnetic field showing circannual variations, we assume further modulation by the 11-yrs' sunspot

  8. [Melatonin receptor agonist].

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Makoto

    2015-06-01

    Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and is involved in the regulation of human sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms. The melatonin MT1 and MT2 receptors located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus play a pivotal role in the sleep-wake regulation. Based on the fact that MT1 receptors are involved in human sleep onset process, melatonin receptor agonists have been developed to treat insomnia. In this article, we first reviewed functions of melatonin receptors with special reference to MT1 and MT2, and properties and clinical application of melatonin receptor agonists as hypnotics.

  9. Chemoneuroendocrine therapy of metastatic breast cancer with persistent thrombocytopenia with weekly low-dose epirubicin plus melatonin: a phase II study.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, P; Tancini, G; Paolorossi, F; Mandalà, M; Ardizzoia, A; Malugani, F; Giani, L; Barni, S

    1999-04-01

    Thrombocytopenia is a frequent complication of cancer and constitutes an absolute contraindication for chemotherapy. Recent studies have demonstrated that platelet generation may be influenced by both cytokines and neurohormones. In particular, the pineal indole melatonin has been proven to enhance platelet number in patients with thrombocytopenia due to different reasons. On this basis, we have evaluated the effects of a concomitant administration of melatonin in thrombocytopenic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The study was performed in 14 metastatic breast cancer women treated by weekly epirubicin. Each cycle consisted of epirubicin at 25 mg/m2 i.v. at weekly intervals. Melatonin was given orally at 20 mg/day in the evening every day, starting 7 days prior to chemotherapy. Patients were considered as evaluable when they received at least four cycles of chemotherapy. Evaluable patients were 12/14. The induction phase with melatonin induced a normalization of platelet number in 9/12 evaluable patients, and no further platelet decline occurred in chemotherapy. Objective tumor regression was achieved in 5/12 (41%) patients. This preliminary study would suggest that melatonin may be effective in the treatment of cancer-related thrombocytopenia and to prevent chemotherapy-induced platelet decline. Until now, melatonin therapy of cancer has been generally considered as an alternative treatment to chemotherapy. In contrast, this study would suggest that melatonin may contribute to the realization of chemotherapy in metastatic cancer patients unable to tolerate the chemotherapeutic approach because of persistent thrombocytopenia.

  10. Circadian rhythms of pineal function in rats.

    PubMed

    Binkley, S A

    1983-01-01

    In pineal glands melatonin is synthesized daily. Melatonin synthesis in rats kept in most light-dark cycles occurs during the subjective night. This rhythm, which persists in constant dark, is a circadian rhythm which may be a consequence of another circadian rhythm in the pineal gland, of N-acetyltransferase activity (NAT). The NAT rhythm has been studied extensively in rats as a possible component of the system timing circadian rhythms. The NAT rhythm is driven by neural signals transmitted to the pineal gland by the sympathetic nervous system. Environmental lighting exerts precise control over the timing of the NAT rhythm. In rats, there is enough data to describe a daily time course of events in the pineal gland and to describe a pineal "life history." Hypothetical schemes for generation of the NAT rhythm and for its control by light are presented.

  11. [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.

  12. MRI exploration of pineal volume in bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Sarrazin, Samuel; Etain, Bruno; Vederine, François-Eric; d'Albis, Marc-Antoine; Hamdani, Nora; Daban, Claire; Delavest, Marine; Lépine, Jean-Pierre; Leboyer, Marion; Mangin, Jean-François; Poupon, Cyril; Houenou, Josselin

    2011-12-01

    Circadian rhythm instability and abnormalities of melatonin secretion are considered as trait markers of bipolar disorder. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland. We investigated pineal volume in patients with bipolar disorder, and expected to observe smaller than normal pineal glands in cases of bipolar disorder. The primary outcome was the total pineal volume measured for each pineal gland with T1 MRI sequence. Twenty patients with bipolar I and II disorder and twenty controls were recruited. Pineal glands with large cysts (type 3) were excluded. After exclusion of individuals with type 3 cysts, 32 subjects were analyzed for total pineal volume (16 patients with bipolar disorder and 16 controls). Total pineal volume did not differ significantly between patients (total pineal volume=115+/-54.3mm(3)) and controls (total pineal volume=110+/-40.5mm(3)). Contrary to our hypothesis, no difference in total pineal volume between patients with bipolar disorder and healthy subjects was observed. These results indicate that the putative dysfunction of the pineal gland in bipolar disorder could be not directly related to an abnormal volume of the pineal gland. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  15. Pineal gland abnormalities in Langerhans cell histiocytosis.

    PubMed

    Grois, N; Prosch, H; Waldhauser, F; Minkov, M; Strasser, G; Steiner, M; Unger, E; Prayer, D

    2004-09-01

    The most common types of central nervous system (CNS) disease in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) comprise involvement of the hypothalamic-pituitary region (HPR) and neurodegenerative changes in the cerebellum, basal ganglia or pons. In the review process of magnetic resonance images (MRI) from 129 LCH patients a high frequency of cysts within or large pineal glands was noted by chance. To prove whether this observation was specific for LCH or not, we compared MRI findings of the HPR in LCH patients with a control group of 55 non-LCH patients with the same age and sex distribution. In LCH patients, the pineal gland was significantly larger and also the number of pineal cysts was significantly higher as compared to the control group. No difference was found regarding the size or frequency of cystic changes between patients who had received chemotherapy prior to the MRI and untreated patients. In the LCH patients, we further found a significant correlation of pineal gland enlargement with involvement of the HPR, but not with neurodegenerative changes. Analysis of melatonin (the principal hormone of the pineal gland) levels in 24 hr urine in 14 LCH patients did not reveal a melatonin deficiency or overproduction in the LCH group as compared to 6 normal controls. The pineal gland is another site of possible CNS involvement in LCH. LCH CNS patients did not show an overt disturbance in melatonin levels. The role of the pineal gland in CNS LCH remains to be defined. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. The profile of melatonin production in tumour-bearing rats.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ana Carolina Franco; Martins, Eivor; Afeche, Solange Castro; Cipolla-Neto, José; Costa Rosa, Luís Fernando Bicudo Pereira

    2004-09-24

    The pineal gland is involved in the regulation of tumour growth through the anticancer activity of melatonin, which presents immunomodulatory, anti-proliferative and anti-oxidant effects. In this study we measured melatonin content directly in the pineal gland, in an attempt to clarify the modulation of pineal melatonin secretory activity during tumour growth. Different groups of Walker 256 carcinosarcoma bearing rats were sacrificed at 12 different time points during 24h (12h:12h light/dark cycle) on different days during the tumour development (on the first, seventh and fourteenth day after tumour inoculation). Melatonin content in the pineal gland was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. During tumour development the amount of melatonin secreted increased from 310.9 ng/mg of protein per day from control animals, to 918.1 ng/mg of protein per day 14 days after tumour implantation, and there were changes in the pineal production profile of melatonin. Cultured pineal glands obtained from tumour-bearing rats turned out to be less responsive to noradrenaline, suggesting the existence, in vivo, of putative factor(s) modulating pineal melatonin production. The results demonstrated that during tumour development there is a modification of pineal melatonin production daily profile, possibly contributing to cachexia, associated to changes in pineal gland response to noradrenaline stimulation.

  17. Effect of a melatonin-free extract from bovine pineal on plasma and urinary steroids and on serum prolactin in hirsute amenorrheic adolescents.

    PubMed

    Popa, M; Tache, A; Dumitrache, M; Cristoveanu, A; Bunea, M; Zimel, A; Bucur, G; Muşeţeanu, P

    1986-01-01

    Basal and post-suppressive dexamethasone (dxm) levels of some urinary androgen metabolites, plasma testosterone (T), 17 hydroxyprogesterone (17 OHP) and of basal serum prolactin were determined in 34 hirsute amenorrheic adolescents aged 13-17 in whom a five day course of bovine pineal extract (4 ml a day i.m.) was instituted. No convincing effect of pineal extract administration on plasma T and 17 OHP and on serum prolactin was detectable in most of pineal-treated patients. Suppressibility to dxm of plasma T and 17 OHP was not a relevant index of both the origin of androgens or the clinical course of the patients.

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

    PubMed

    Touitou, Yvan; Selmaoui, Brahim

    2012-12-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Daily NO rhythms in peripheral clocks in aging male Wistar rats: protective effects of exogenous melatonin.

    PubMed

    Vinod, Ch; Jagota, Anita

    2016-11-01

    In mammals suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), acts as a light entrainable master clock and by generation of temporal oscillations regulates the peripheral organs acting as autonomous clocks resulting in overt behavioral and physiological rhythms. SCN also controls synthesis and release of melatonin (hormonal message for darkness) from pineal. Nitric Oxide (NO) acts as an important neurotransmitter in generating the phase shifts of circadian rhythms and participates in sleep-wake processes, maintenance of vascular tone as well as signalling and regulating inflammatory processes. Aging is associated with disruption of circadian timing system and decline in endogenous melatonin leading to several physiological disorders. Here we report the effect of aging on NO daily rhythms in various peripheral clocks such as kidney, intestine, liver, heart, lungs and testis. NO levels were measured at zeitgeber time (ZT) 0, 6, 12 and 18 in these tissues using Griess assay in male Wistar rats. Aging resulted in alteration of NO levels as well as phase of NO in both 12 and 24 months groups. Correlation analysis demonstrated loss of stoichiometric interaction between the various peripheral clocks with aging. Age induced alterations in NO daily rhythms were found to be most significant in liver and, interestingly least in lungs. Neurohormone melatonin, an endogenous synchroniser and an antiaging agent decreases with aging. We report further differential restoration with exogenous melatonin administration of age induced alterations in NO daily rhythms and mean levels in kidney, intestine and liver and the stoichiometric interactions between the various peripheral clocks.

  2. TRPV4 activation triggers the release of melatonin from human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Alkozi, Hanan Awad; Pintor, Jesús

    2015-07-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone mainly produced in the pineal gland; nevertheless, various ocular structures such as the ciliary body, lens and the retina produce it. One of the roles of melatonin in the eye is the modulation of intraocular pressure, although little is known about the mechanisms that causes its presence in the aqueous humour. TRPV4 is a membrane channel which is activated by both physical and chemical stimuli. Therefore, this channel is sensitive to osmotic and hydrostatic pressure. As a consequence, TRPV4 results as an interesting candidate to study the relation between the activation of the TRPV4 channel and the production of melatonin. In this sense we have studied the role of the TRPV4 agonist GSK1016790A to modulate the production of melatonin in a cell line derived from human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells. The stimulation of the TRPV4 produced an increase in the extracellular melatonin levels changing from 8.5 ± 0.6 nM/well/30 min (control) to 23.3 ± 2.1 nM/well/30 min after 10 nM GSK1016790A application, this action being blocked by the selective antagonist RN 1734. The activation of the TRPV4 by GSK1016790A permitted to observe a melatonin increase which was concentration-dependent, and provided a pD2 value of -8.5 ± 0.1 (EC50 of 3.0 nM). In conclusion, the activation of the TRPV4 present in human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells can modulate the presence of extracellular melatonin, this being of relevance since this substance controls the dynamics of the aqueous humour. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The pineal gland from development to function.

    PubMed

    Sapède, Dora; Cau, Elise

    2013-01-01

    The pineal gland is a small neuroendocrine organ whose main and most conserved function is the nighttime secretion of melatonin. In lower vertebrates, the pineal gland is directly photosensitive. In contrast, in higher vertebrates, the direct photosensitivity of the pineal gland had been lost. Rather, the action of this gland as a relay between environmental light conditions and body functions involves reception of light information by the retina. In parallel to this sensory regression, the pineal gland (and its accessory organs) appears to have lost several functions in relation to light and temperature, which are important in lower vertebrate species. In humans, the functions of the pineal gland overlap with the functions of melatonin. They are extremely widespread and include general effects both on cell protection and on more precise functions, such as sleep and immunity. Recently, the role of melatonin has received a considerable amount of attention due to increased cancer risk in shift workers and the discovery that patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, autism, or depression exhibit abnormal melatonin rhythms.

  4. Melatonin: functions and ligands.

    PubMed

    Singh, Mahaveer; Jadhav, Hemant R

    2014-09-01

    Melatonin is a chronobiotic substance that acts as synchronizer by stabilizing bodily rhythms. Its synthesis occurs in various locations throughout the body, including the pineal gland, skin, lymphocytes and gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Its synthesis and secretion is controlled by light and dark conditions, whereby light decreases and darkness increases its production. Thus, melatonin is also known as the 'hormone of darkness'. Melatonin and analogs that bind to the melatonin receptors are important because of their role in the management of depression, insomnia, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease (AD), diabetes, obesity, alopecia, migraine, cancer, and immune and cardiac disorders. In this review, we discuss the mechanism of action of melatonin in these disorders, which could aid in the design of novel melatonin receptor ligands.

  5. Pineal calcification.

    PubMed

    Bhatti, I H; Khan, A

    1977-04-01

    The incidence of pineal calcification was studied by reviewing skull radiographs of 1400 patients admitted to a major neurosurgical centre at Karachi over an eight year period. The total frequency as well as age and sex distribution of pineal calcification were worked out and compared with frequency and age distribution of calcification reported in Western and Eastern races by different workers.

  6. Pineal epidermoid

    PubMed Central

    Senapati, Satya B.; Mishra, Sudhansu S.; Patnaik, Ashis; Patra, Sunil K.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Tumors of pineal region are uncommon, accounting for ≤1% of intracranial tumors in adults and 3–8% of pediatric brain tumors. Epidermoid cysts account for 0.2–1% of all intracranial tumors. The majority occur in and around the cerebellopontine angle and suprasellar area. Getting an epidermoid in pineal region is very rare. Case Description: We report a case of pineal epidermoid, which was diagnosed correctly as epidermoid depending on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. Knowing its benign nature, we accordingly planned for its near-total removal. Conclusion: Most cases of pineal tumors present as obstructive hydrocephalus. They either require pre- or postoperative ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. If properly planned, many benign pineal tumors may be successfully excised and, most importantly, postoperative VP shunt could be avoided. PMID:23226611

  7. Toxicology of melatonin.

    PubMed

    Guardiola-Lemaître, B

    1997-12-01

    Despite the fact that melatonin has been released for public use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration and is available over the counter nationwide, there currently is a total lack of information on the toxicology of melatonin. In Europe, melatonin has a completely different status in that it is considered a "neurohormone" and cannot be sold over the counter. Even though administration of melatonin in humans, as well as in animals (even at supraphysiological doses), has not shown evidence of toxicological effects (i.e., no deaths), a drug toxicological file still would need to be prepared and approved by the regulatory authorities. Several features that are specific to this neurohormone need to be taken into consideration. Whatever the species concerned, melatonin is secreted during the night; it is the "hormone of darkness." It presents a circadian rhythm and a circannual rhythm (in photoperiodic species). The duration of these secretions could have an impact on the reproductive system, for example, showing the importance of the pharmacodynamics of melatonin. An inappropriate time schedule of melatonin administration could induce supraphysiological concentrations of the neurohormone and a desensitization of melatonin receptors. A long duration of exposure to melatonin also could mimic an "artificial darkness" condition when a circadian rhythm with a basal zero level during the day needs to be conserved for a physiological function. Furthermore, administration of large doses of melatonin could induce high concentrations of melatonin and of different metabolites that could have deleterious effects per se. Numerous books, magazines, and articles have praised melatonin as a "miraculous cure-all" for ailments ranging from sleeplessness, to aging, without any clinical evidence of efficacy (with the exception of its chronobiotic and resynchronizing effect). Very little attention has been paid to the possible side effects of melatonin. Nightmares

  8. The amplitude of endogenous melatonin production is not affected by melatonin treatment in humans.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, M; Sack, R L; Blood, M L; Lewy, A J

    1997-01-01

    A physiological dose of melatonin (0.5 mg) or placebo was given at bedtime to night shift workers (n = 21) for seven days, and endogenous melatonin profiles were measured on the eighth day. The amplitude of endogenous melatonin secretion was unchanged by treatment. Also, a melatonin treatment trial using a 50 mg daily bedtime dose for 37 days to a blind subject resulted in no change in the endogenous melatonin profile. We conclude that circulating melatonin can shift the phase, but does not alter the amplitude, of pineal melatonin secretion.

  9. Melatonin for primary insomnia?

    PubMed

    2009-07-01

    Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, has a key role in regulating circadian rhythms, most importantly, the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin's action has led to its being tried as a treatment for a wide range of sleep disorders, such as jet lag, primary insomnia, sleep-wake cycle disruption and sleep problems in children with neuro-developmental disorders. Until recently, it had not been licensed in the UK for any indication. Prolonged-release melatonin (Circadin - Lundbeck) has now been licensed as a treatment for primary insomnia. Here we consider whether this product has a place in the management of people with this condition.

  10. Effects of melatonin on peripheral nerve regeneration.

    PubMed

    Turgut, Mehmet; Kaplan, Süleyman

    2011-05-01

    In the available literature, there are thousands of studies on peripheral nerve regeneration using many nerves of several animals at different ages with various types of lesions and different methods of evaluation at certain time of follow-up. Despite many experimental data and clinical observations, there is still no ideal treatment method enhancing peripheral nerve regeneration. In clinical practice, various types of surgical nerve repair techniques do not frequently result in complete recovery due to neuroma formation, lipid peroxidative damage, ischemia and other factors. Recently, a number of neuroscientists demonstrated that pineal neurohormone melatonin (MLT) has an effect on the morphologic features of the nerve tissue, suggesting its neuroprotective, free radical scavenging, antioxidative, and analgesic effects in degenerative diseases of peripheral nerves. At present, it is widely accepted that MLT has a useful effect on axon length and sprouting after traumatic events to peripheral nerves. Our studies using various experimental injury models clearly suggest positive effects of MLT on the number of axons, thickness of myelin sheath by inhibition of collagen accumulation and neuroma formation following traumatic events to peripheral nerves, myelination of developing peripheral nerve after intrauterine ethanol exposure. Nevertheless, further experimental and randomized controlled clinical studies are vital to identify the clinical use of MLT hormone. This is an overview of recent patents and current literature in terms of the effects of MLT on peripheral nerve regeneration based on a critical analysis of electrophysiological, biochemical and light and electron microscopic findings, in addition to functional observations.

  11. Pineal calcification is associated with pediatric primary brain tumor.

    PubMed

    Tuntapakul, Supinya; Kitkhuandee, Amnat; Kanpittaya, Jaturat; Johns, Jeffrey; Johns, Nutjaree Pratheepawanit

    2016-12-01

    Melatonin has been associated with various tumors, including brain tumor, and shown to inhibit growth of neuroblastoma cells and gliomas in animal models. Likewise, patients with glioblastoma receiving melatonin reported better survival than controls. Pineal calcification may lead to a decreased production of melatonin by calcified glands. This study assessed association between pineal calcification and primary brain tumor in pediatric/adolescent patients. Medical chart review was conducted in 181 patients <15 years old who had undergone brain computed tomography (CT) during 2008-2012. Pineal calcification was identified using brain CT scan by an experienced neurosurgeon. Primary brain tumor was confirmed by CT scan and histology, and association with pineal calcification was estimated using multiple logistic regression, adjusted for age and gender. Primary brain tumor was detected in 51 patients (mean age 9.0, standard deviation 4.0 years), with medulloblastoma being the most common (11 patients). Pineal calcification was detected in 12 patients (23.5%) with primary brain tumor, while only 11 patients (8.5%) without tumor had pineal calcification. Adjusted for patients' ages and genders, pineal calcification was associated with an increase in primary brain tumor of 2.82-fold (odds ratio 2.82; 95% confidence interval 1.12-7.08, P = 0.027). Pineal calcification appears to be associated with primary brain tumor. Further studies to explore this link are discussed and warranted. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  12. Biosynthesis and biological action of pineal allopregnanolone

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Haraguchi, Shogo

    2014-01-01

    The pineal gland transduces photoperiodic changes to the neuroendocrine system by rhythmic secretion of melatonin. We recently provided new evidence that the pineal gland is a major neurosteroidogenic organ and actively produces a variety of neurosteroids de novo from cholesterol in birds. Notably, allopregnanolone is a major pineal neurosteroid that is far more actively produced in the pineal gland than the brain and secreted by the pineal gland in juvenile birds. Subsequently, we have demonstrated the biological action of pineal allopregnanolone on Purkinje cells in the cerebellum during development in juvenile birds. Pinealectomy (Px) induces apoptosis of Purkinje cells, whereas allopregnanolone administration to Px chicks prevents cell death. Furthermore, Px increases the number of Purkinje cells that express active caspase-3, a crucial mediator of apoptosis, and allopregnanolone administration to Px chicks decreases the number of Purkinje cells expressing active caspase-3. It thus appears that pineal allopregnanolone prevents cell death of Purkinje cells by suppressing the activity of caspase-3 during development. This paper highlights new aspects of the biosynthesis and biological action of pineal allopregnanolone. PMID:24834027

  13. Restricted feeding restores rhythmicity in the pineal gland of arrhythmic suprachiasmatic-lesioned rats.

    PubMed

    Feillet, Céline A; Mendoza, Jorge; Pévet, Paul; Challet, Etienne

    2008-12-01

    In mammals, the rhythmic synthesis of melatonin by the pineal gland is tightly controlled by the master clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). In behaviourally arrhythmic SCN-lesioned rats, we investigated the effects of daily restricted feeding (RF) on pineal melatonin synthesis. RF restored not only a rhythmic transcription of the rate-limiting enzyme for melatonin biosynthesis [arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AANAT)] and a rhythmic expression of c-FOS but also a rhythmic synthesis of melatonin in the pineal gland. In control rats without functional SCN and fed ad libitum, a daily immobilization stress did not restore any rhythmicity in the pineal gland. Interestingly, a combination of RF and daily stress prior to the time of food access did not markedly impair AaNat mRNA and c-FOS rhythmicity but did abolish the restoration of rhythmic pineal melatonin. These data indicate that the synchronizing effects of RF on the pineal rhythmicity are not due to, and cannot be mimicked by, high levels of circulating glucocorticoids. In keeping with the multi-oscillatory nature of the circadian system, the rhythmicity of pineal melatonin in mammals, until now an exclusive output of the SCN, can also be controlled by daily feeding cues when the SCN clock is lacking. Thus, the present study demonstrates that daily RF in SCN-lesioned rats provides, probably via sympathetic fibres, synchronizing stimuli strong enough to drive rhythmicity in the pineal gland.

  14. Expression of luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Masanori T; Hosaka, Takeshi; Takahashi, Noriyuki; Ishizuka, Bunpei

    2006-08-01

    Luteinizing hormone (LH) influences the secretion of melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) from the pineal gland. The present study examined the possible presence of LH/chorionic gonadotropin (CG) receptor in the pineal gland of adult female rats. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analyses demonstrated that LH/CG receptor mRNA is expressed in the pineal gland. Western blotting showed that the pineal gland, like the ovary, contains an 80 kDa receptor protein. Immunohistochemistry revealed that LH/CG receptor, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (a regulatory enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis) and serotonin (a melatonin precursor) are localized primarily to the same cells of the pineal gland. We further found that the levels of pineal LH/CG receptor protein in normal cycling female rats change significantly during the estrous cycle, being lowest at early metestrus. These results demonstrate that LH/CG receptor is expressed in the pineal gland, primarily in melatonin-synthesizing cells, namely pinealocytes. Furthermore, it is suggested that LH influences pineal melatonin secretion through binding to this receptor. In addition, LH/CG receptor levels in the pineal gland are regulated during the estrous cycle under normal physiological conditions.

  15. 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

  16. Hypothalamic neurohormones and immune responses.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Long-term in vivo pineal microdialysis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xing; Liu, Tiecheng; Deng, Jie; Borjigin, Jimo

    2003-09-01

    This study describes the development of a new technique for long-term measurement of daily 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and melatonin contents in the pineal gland of freely moving rats. The technique features a number of novel improvements over previous protocols. It allows visualization of the pineal gland for accurate targeting of the guide cannula, which minimizes bleeding; incurs no direct injury to the surrounding brain tissues; and causes no interference with the sympathetic innervation from the superior cervical ganglia. Robust releases of melatonin and indole precursors were continuously monitored quantitatively and reproducibly for more than 2 wk in the same animal. In addition, effects of pharmacological agents on in vivo pineal circadian rhythms can be studied reproducibly over time, and gene expression profiles can be correlated with physiological consequences in single animals. Using these approaches, it is found that beta-adrenergic activation leads to decreased release of 5-HT, and that increased cAMP signaling in vivo results in activation of N-acetyltransferase gene induction and melatonin production. These studies will enhance the understanding of signaling pathways that regulate pineal 5-HT and melatonin synthesis and secretion.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The pineal gland in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Awerbuch, G I

    1991-11-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of unknown etiology. Clinical, neurochemical, and neuroradiological data implicate the pineal gland in the pathophysiology of MS. To investigate the relationship of MS to the pineal gland further, we surveyed the prevalence of pineal calcification (PC) on CT scan in a cohort of 29 MS patients (7 men, 22 women, mean age: 40.1 years, SD = 8.9) who were admitted consecutively to a neurological service for acute exacerbation of symptoms. For the purpose of comparison, we also surveyed the prevalence of choroid plexus calcification (CPC) in the sample. Twenty-one age and sex-matched neurological patients served as controls (5 men, 16 women, mean age: 37.0, SD = 9.2). PC was seen in 100% of MS patients, while 72.4% patients (N = 21) had CPC. In the control sample, PC was found in 42.8% (N = 9) and CPC in 28.5% (N = 6). Thus, the strikingly high prevalence of PC in MS provides indirect support for an association between MS and abnormalities of the pineal gland. Moreover, since pineal melatonin is involved in neuroimmunomodulation, we propose, for the first time, that abnormalities of pineal melatonin functions are implicated in the pathophysiology of the disease.

  1. A randomized study of neuroimmunotherapy with low-dose subcutaneous interleukin-2 plus melatonin compared to supportive care alone in patients with untreatable metastatic solid tumour.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, P; Barni, S; Fossati, V; Ardizzoia, A; Cazzaniga, M; Tancini, G; Frigerio, F

    1995-05-01

    Recent advances in our knowledge of psychoneuroimmune interactions involved in the control of tumour growth have shown the possibility of manipulating host anticancer defenses through a neuroimmunotherapeutic strategy. In particular, our previous studies have demonstrated that the concomitant administration of the pineal neurohormone melatonin may amplify the antitumour efficacy of interleukin-2 (IL-2) in humans. On this basis, a study was planned to investigate the influence of neuroimmunotherapy with low-dose IL-2 plus melatonin on survival time and on performance status in untreatable metastatic cancer patients. The study included 100 patients with metastatic solid tumours, for whom no standard therapy was available. They were randomized to receive IL-2 (3 x 10(6) IU/day subcutaneously for 4 weeks) plus melatonin (40 mg/day orally) or supportive care alone. Partial tumour regressions were seen in 9/52 (17%) patients treated with the immunotherapy, and in none of the patients treated with supportive care alone. The percentage of survival at 1 year was significantly higher in patients treated with IL-2 and melatonin than in those receiving the supportive care alone (21/52 versus 5/48, P < 0.005). Moreover, the performance status improved in 22/52 patients of the immunotherapy group and in only 8/48 patients treated with supportive care (P < 0.01). This study shows that cancer neuroimmunotherapy with low-dose IL-2 and the pineal hormone melatonin may prolong survival time and improve the quality of life of patients with metastatic solid tumours who do not respond to conventional therapies.

  2. Pineal 'synaptic ribbons' and serum melatonin levels in the rat following the pulse action of 52-Gs (50-Hz) magnetic fields: an evolutive analysis over 21 days.

    PubMed

    Martínez Soriano, F; Giménez González, M; Armañazas, E; Ruiz Torner, A

    1992-01-01

    In continuation of earlier studies, we have investigated the influence of 52-Gs (50-Hz) magnetic fields on the evolution of pinealocyte 'synaptic ribbons' and serum melatonin levels in rats, following 30 min daily exposure. The animals were sacrificed after 1, 3, 7, 15 and 21 days. A significant decrease in the number of synaptic ribbons was observed after 15 and 21 days, together with a significant drop in serum melatonin concentrations after 15 days. The mediating role of the retina in these modifications and magnetic field effects is discussed.

  3. The relationship between ECT nonresponsiveness and calcification of the pineal gland in bipolar patients.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Pardeshi, R

    1990-10-01

    It has been suggested recently that the therapeutic effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be mediated in part through stimulation of pineal melatonin secretion. If melatonin does mediate the antidepressant effects of ECT and depression itself is associated in some patients with reduced melatonin secretion, patients with reduced melatonin secretion could respond less readily to ECT. There is evidence to suggest an inverse relationship between melatonin secretion and the degree of pineal calcification. Specifically, heavy pineal calcifications in animals have been reported to be associated with reduced plasma melatonin levels. In this study, an investigation was conducted to establish more precisely the relationship between the clinical response to ECT in 17 bipolar patients and the degrees of pineal calcification present on CT scan. There was a significant association between ECT nonresponsiveness and the presence of pathologically enlarged pineal calcification (i.e., greater than 1 cm in diameter) (p.01). In addition, there was a significant difference in ECT responsiveness in patients without pineal calcification compared to those with pathologically enlarged pineal calcification (F = 6.10; p = .01, one-way ANOVA). These findings indicate an association between enlarged pineal calcification and ECT nonresponsiveness and suggest that reduced melatonin secretion may be associated with ECT nonresponsiveness. An enlarged pineal calcification could be a useful radiological marker of ECT nonresponsiveness and administration of melatonin precursors (i.e., L-tryptophan; 5-HTP) and its cofactors (i.e., pyridoxine, folate) as well as melatonin-release enhancing agents (i.e., 5-methoxypsoralen) prior to ECT might augment its antidepressant effects in bipolar patients.

  4. Photoperiod affects amplitude but not duration of in vitro melatonin production in the ruin lizard (Podarcis sicula).

    PubMed

    Bertolucci, C; Wagner, G; Foà, A; Gwinner, E; Brandstätter, R

    2003-02-01

    The pineal gland and its major output signal melatonin have been demonstrated to play a central role in the seasonal organization of the ruin lizard Podarcis sicula. Seasonal variations in the amplitude of the nocturnal melatonin signal, with high values in spring as compared to low values in summer and autumn, have been found in vivo. The authors examined whether the pineal gland of the ruin lizard contains autonomous circadian oscillators controlling melatonin synthesis and whether previously described seasonal variations of in vivo melatonin production can also be found in isolated cultured pineal glands obtained from ruin lizards in summer and winter. In vitro melatonin release from isolated pineal glands of the ruin lizard persisted for 4 days in constant conditions. Cultured explanted pineal glands obtained from animals in winter and summer showed similar circadian rhythms of melatonin release, characterized by damping of the amplitude of the melatonin rhythm. Although different photoperiodic conditions were imposed on ruin lizards before explantation of pineal glands, the authors did not find any indication for corresponding differences in the duration of elevated melatonin in vitro. Differences were found in the amplitude of in vitro melatonin production in light/dark conditions and, to a lesser degree, in constant conditions. The presence of a circadian melatonin rhythm in vitro in winter, although such a rhythm is absent in vivo in winter, suggests that pineal melatonin production is influenced by an extrapineal oscillator in the intact animal that may either positively or negatively modulate melatonin production in summer and winter, respectively.

  5. 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

  6. Headaches and pineal cyst: a (more than) coincidental relationship?

    PubMed

    Peres, Mario F P; Zukerman, Eliova; Porto, Pedro P; Brandt, Reynaldo A

    2004-10-01

    Pineal cysts are common findings in neuroimaging studies. The cysts are more frequent in women in their third decade of life. Pineal cysts can be symptomatic, headache is the most common symptom. The pineal gland has important physiological implications in humans, but little is known about the impact of pineal cysts in human physiology. We report 5 headache patients with pineal cyst, 4 women, 1 man, mean age 37.6, mean cyst diameter 10.1 mm. Two patients had migraine without aura, 1 migraine with aura, 1 chronic migraine, and 1 hemicrania continua. Three patients had strictly unilateral headaches. We hypothesize pineal cysts may be not incidental in headache patients, inducing an abnormal melatonin secretion.

  7. Melatonin and its agonists: an update.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Josephine; Rajaratnam, Shantha M W

    2008-10-01

    The pineal hormone melatonin is able to shift the timing of circadian rhythms, including the sleep-wake cycle, and to promote sleep. Melatonin agonists with similar properties have therapeutic potential for the treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Depression is specifically targeted by agomelatine, which is also a serotonin-2C (5-HT(2C)) antagonist.

  8. A pineal regulatory element (PIRE) mediates transactivation by the pineal/retina-specific transcription factor CRX.

    PubMed

    Li, X; Chen, S; Wang, Q; Zack, D J; Snyder, S H; Borjigin, J

    1998-02-17

    The circadian hormone melatonin is synthesized predominantly in the pineal gland by the actions of two pineal-specific enzymes: serotonin N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT). Pineal night-specific ATPase (PINA), another pineal- and night-specific protein we recently identified, is produced as a truncated form of the Wilson disease gene (Atp7b) product. To identify the regulatory elements required for pineal-specific gene expression, we isolated sequences upstream of the rat PINA gene and discovered a cis-acting element that is recognized by a novel pineal/retina-specific nuclear factor. This pineal regulatory element (PIRE) has a consensus of TAATC/T and is present in six copies in the 5' regulatory region of the PINA gene, at least three copies in the rat NAT promoter, and at least one copy in each of the putative HIOMT promoters A and B. A recently identified retina-specific protein, cone rod homeobox (CRX), binds to PIRE in vitro and transactivates PIRE-reporter constructs. These data suggest that Crx may play a crucial role in regulating pineal gene expression through interactions with PIRE.

  9. A pineal regulatory element (PIRE) mediates transactivation by the pineal/retina-specific transcription factor CRX

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaodong; Chen, Shiming; Wang, Qingliang; Zack, Donald J.; Snyder, Solomon H.; Borjigin, Jimo

    1998-01-01

    The circadian hormone melatonin is synthesized predominantly in the pineal gland by the actions of two pineal-specific enzymes: serotonin N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT). Pineal night-specific ATPase (PINA), another pineal- and night-specific protein we recently identified, is produced as a truncated form of the Wilson disease gene (Atp7b) product. To identify the regulatory elements required for pineal-specific gene expression, we isolated sequences upstream of the rat PINA gene and discovered a cis-acting element that is recognized by a novel pineal/retina-specific nuclear factor. This pineal regulatory element (PIRE) has a consensus of TAATC/T and is present in six copies in the 5′ regulatory region of the PINA gene, at least three copies in the rat NAT promoter, and at least one copy in each of the putative HIOMT promoters A and B. A recently identified retina-specific protein, cone rod homeobox (CRX), binds to PIRE in vitro and transactivates PIRE-reporter constructs. These data suggest that Crx may play a crucial role in regulating pineal gene expression through interactions with PIRE. PMID:9465110

  10. The function of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Catalá, Angel

    2010-02-01

    The mammalian pineal gland is a prominent secretory organ with a high metabolic activity. Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine), the main secretory product of the pineal gland, efficiently scavenges both the hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals counteracting lipid peroxidation in biological membranes. Approximately 25% of the total fatty acids present in the rat pineal lipids are represented by arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3). These very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids play important roles in the pineal gland. In addition to the production of melatonin, the mammalian pineal gland is able of convert these polyunsaturated fatty acids into bioactive lipid mediators. Lipoxygenation is the principal lipoxygenase (LOX) activity observed in the rat pineal gland. Lipoxygenation in the pineal gland is exceptional because no other brain regions express significant LOX activities under normal physiological conditions. The rat pineal gland expresses both 12- and 15-lipoxygenase (LOX) activities, producing 12- and 15-hydroperoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12- and 15-HpETE) from arachidonic acid and 14- and 17-hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid (14- and 17-HdoHE) from docosahexaenoic acid, respectively. The rat pineal also produces hepoxilins via LOX pathways. The hepoxilins are bioactive epoxy-hydroxy products of the arachidonic acid metabolism via the 12S-lipoxygenase (12S-LOX) pathway. The two key pineal biochemical functions, lipoxygenation and melatonin synthesis, may be synergistically regulated by the status of n-3 essential fatty acids.

  11. Pineal organs in deep demersal fish.

    PubMed

    Wagner, H J; Mattheus, U

    2002-01-01

    We studied ten species of demersal fish from depths of 1500-4800 m, i.e. regions of the abyss outside the reach of sunlight. A pineal window in the skin and/or the skull, often found in mesopelagic fish, was never observed in demersal specimens. Nine species had a well-developed pineal organ, with light- and electron-microscopic features, well known in other teleosts living in surface waters, including photoreceptor cells with inner and outer segments, synaptic ribbons, neuronal perikarya, and (radial) glial cells. One species ( Bathypterois dubius) showed signs of regression; it also had reduced eyes. We observed considerable morphological variation in location, size, microscopic structure and ultrastructural organisation, including the frequency of photoreceptor cells, size of outer segments and the number of myelinated and unmyelinated axons. No systematic trend in the sense of an increase of sensitivity with greater depths was observed. Melatonin contents varied between 4 pg and 92 pg per pineal in the grenadier Coryphaenoides ( Nematonurus) armatus and between 2 pg and 70 pg per pineal in the eel Synaphobranchus kaupi. Differences between day and night values and between autumn and spring suggest that pineal melatonin acts as neurochemical signal mediating rhythmic processes and behaviour. The role of an alternative non-solar zeitgeber in the demersal environment is discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The mammalian pineal gland: known facts, unknown facets.

    PubMed

    Maronde, Erik; Stehle, Jörg H

    2007-01-01

    In the mammalian pineal gland, information on environmental lighting conditions that is neuronally encoded by the retina is converted into nocturnally elevated synthesis of the hormone melatonin. Evolutionary pressure has changed the morphology of vertebrate pinealocytes, eliminating direct photoreception and the endogenous clock function. Despite these changes, nocturnally elevated melatonin synthesis has remained a reliable indicator of time throughout evolution. In the photo-insensitive mammalian pineal gland this message of darkness depends on the master circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei. The dramatic change in vertebrate pinealocytes has received little attention; here, we therefore link the known evolutionary morphodynamics and well-investigated biochemical details responsible for rhythmic synthesis of melatonin with recently characterized patterns of gene expression in the pineal gland. We also address the enigmatic function of clockwork molecules in mammalian pinealocytes.

  16. Selective protection of the cerebellum against intracerebroventricular LPS is mediated by local melatonin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Pinato, Luciana; da Silveira Cruz-Machado, Sanseray; Franco, Daiane G; Campos, Leila M G; Cecon, Erika; Fernandes, Pedro A C M; Bittencourt, Jackson C; Markus, Regina P

    2015-03-01

    Although melatonin is mainly produced by the pineal gland, an increasing number of extra-pineal sites of melatonin synthesis have been described. We previously demonstrated the existence of bidirectional communication between the pineal gland and the immune system that drives a switch in melatonin production from the pineal gland to peripheral organs during the mounting of an innate immune response. In the present study, we show that acute neuroinflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injected directly into the lateral ventricles of adult rats reduces the nocturnal peak of melatonin in the plasma and induces its synthesis in the cerebellum, though not in the cortex or hippocampus. This increase in cerebellar melatonin content requires the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), which positively regulates the expression of the key enzyme for melatonin synthesis, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT). Interestingly, LPS treatment led to neuronal death in the hippocampus and cortex, but not in the cerebellum. This privileged protection of cerebellar cells was abrogated when G-protein-coupled melatonin receptors were blocked by the melatonin antagonist luzindole, suggesting that the local production of melatonin protects cerebellar neurons from LPS toxicity. This is the first demonstration of a switch between pineal and extra-pineal melatonin production in the central nervous system following a neuroinflammatory response. These results have direct implications concerning the differential susceptibility of specific brain areas to neuronal death.

  17. Melatonin deficiencies in women.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Uwe D; Herold, Jens

    2002-04-15

    The pineal hormone melatonin is the mediator of external light to physiologic adaptation to day and night rhythms, it regulates reproduction in animals but attempts to utilize melatonin in women for contraception have failed. Melatonin seems to be the natural hormone to facilitate sleep in insomniac patients and causes no hang over. When applied together with benzodiazepine it allows reduction of benzodiazepine without withdrawal effects. It should be applied 2 h before sleeping time in doses between 3 and 5 mg. Melatonin acts via the gamma-aminobutyric acid- and benzodiazepine receptor explaining its success in treatment of seizures in children and in adults. Constant application of benzodiazepine reduced the production of natural melatonin in rats, supporting the evidence that long-term application of benzodiazepine in humans does not restore sleeping habits but reduces natural sleeping habits even more. Low melatonin levels were seen in bulimia or neuralgia and in women with fibromyalgia; replacement reduced pain, sleeping disorders, and depression in fibromyalgia and bulimia. Melatonin profiles are a diagnostic tool to distinguish between several forms of depression, like major depression, winter depression (SAD), unipolar depression, delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). In patients with a major depression success with antidepressants correlated with an increase in their melatonin profiles but only patients suffering from DSPS can be successfully treated with melatonin. In perimenopausal women melatonin administration did produce a change in LH, FSH and thyroid hormones. Some oncostatic properties are supported by cell culture work and studies in animals. In Nordic countries indigenous people suffer less from breast and prostate cancer, winter darkness seems to protect. The supposedly increased melatonin levels created the 'melatonin hypothesis'. Epidemiological studies did show that blind people indeed have half the rate of breast cancers, supporting the

  18. TLR4 and CD14 receptors expressed in rat pineal gland trigger NFKB pathway.

    PubMed

    da Silveira Cruz-Machado, Sanseray; Carvalho-Sousa, Claudia Emanuele; Tamura, Eduardo Koji; Pinato, Luciana; Cecon, Erika; Fernandes, Pedro Augusto Carlos Magno; de Avellar, Maria Christina Werneck; Ferreira, Zulma Silva; Markus, Regina Pekelmann

    2010-09-01

    Nuclear factor-kappa B (NFKB), a pivotal player in inflammatory responses, is constitutively expressed in the pineal gland. Corticosterone inhibits pineal NFKB leading to an enhancement of melatonin production, while tumor necrosis factor (TNF) leads to inhibition of Aa-nat transcription and the production of N-acetylserotonin in cultured glands. The reduction in nocturnal melatonin surge favors the mounting of the inflammatory response. Despite these data, there is no clear evidence of the ability of the pineal gland to recognize molecules that signal infection. This study investigated whether the rat pineal gland expresses receptors for lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the endotoxin from the membranes of Gram-negative bacteria, and to establish the mechanism of action of LPS. Here, we show that pineal glands possess both CD14 and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), membrane proteins that bind LPS and trigger the NFKB pathway. LPS induced the nuclear translocation of p50/p50 and p50/RELA dimers and the synthesis of TNF. The maximal expression of TNF in cultured glands coincides with an increase in the expression of TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) in isolated pinealocytes. In addition, LPS inhibited the synthesis of N-acetylserotonin and melatonin. Therefore, the pineal gland transduces Gram-negative endotoxin stimulation by producing TNF and inhibiting melatonin synthesis. Here, we provide evidence to reinforce the idea of an immune-pineal axis, showing that the pineal gland is a constitutive player in the innate immune response.

  19. Genetically Blocking the Zebrafish Pineal Clock Affects Circadian Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Alon, Shahar; Vallone, Daniela; Tovin, Adi; Shainer, Inbal; Nisembaum, Laura G.; Aviram, Idit; Smadja-Storz, Sima; Fuentes, Michael; Falcón, Jack; Eisenberg, Eli; Klein, David C.; Burgess, Harold A.; Foulkes, Nicholas S.; Gothilf, Yoav

    2016-01-01

    The master circadian clock in fish has been considered to reside in the pineal gland. This dogma is challenged, however, by the finding that most zebrafish tissues contain molecular clocks that are directly reset by light. To further examine the role of the pineal gland oscillator in the zebrafish circadian system, we generated a transgenic line in which the molecular clock is selectively blocked in the melatonin-producing cells of the pineal gland by a dominant-negative strategy. As a result, clock-controlled rhythms of melatonin production in the adult pineal gland were disrupted. Moreover, transcriptome analysis revealed that the circadian expression pattern of the majority of clock-controlled genes in the adult pineal gland is abolished. Importantly, circadian rhythms of behavior in zebrafish larvae were affected: rhythms of place preference under constant darkness were eliminated, and rhythms of locomotor activity under constant dark and constant dim light conditions were markedly attenuated. On the other hand, global peripheral molecular oscillators, as measured in whole larvae, were unaffected in this model. In conclusion, characterization of this novel transgenic model provides evidence that the molecular clock in the melatonin-producing cells of the pineal gland plays a key role, possibly as part of a multiple pacemaker system, in modulating circadian rhythms of behavior. PMID:27870848

  20. Genetically Blocking the Zebrafish Pineal Clock Affects Circadian Behavior.

    PubMed

    Ben-Moshe Livne, Zohar; Alon, Shahar; Vallone, Daniela; Bayleyen, Yared; Tovin, Adi; Shainer, Inbal; Nisembaum, Laura G; Aviram, Idit; Smadja-Storz, Sima; Fuentes, Michael; Falcón, Jack; Eisenberg, Eli; Klein, David C; Burgess, Harold A; Foulkes, Nicholas S; Gothilf, Yoav

    2016-11-01

    The master circadian clock in fish has been considered to reside in the pineal gland. This dogma is challenged, however, by the finding that most zebrafish tissues contain molecular clocks that are directly reset by light. To further examine the role of the pineal gland oscillator in the zebrafish circadian system, we generated a transgenic line in which the molecular clock is selectively blocked in the melatonin-producing cells of the pineal gland by a dominant-negative strategy. As a result, clock-controlled rhythms of melatonin production in the adult pineal gland were disrupted. Moreover, transcriptome analysis revealed that the circadian expression pattern of the majority of clock-controlled genes in the adult pineal gland is abolished. Importantly, circadian rhythms of behavior in zebrafish larvae were affected: rhythms of place preference under constant darkness were eliminated, and rhythms of locomotor activity under constant dark and constant dim light conditions were markedly attenuated. On the other hand, global peripheral molecular oscillators, as measured in whole larvae, were unaffected in this model. In conclusion, characterization of this novel transgenic model provides evidence that the molecular clock in the melatonin-producing cells of the pineal gland plays a key role, possibly as part of a multiple pacemaker system, in modulating circadian rhythms of behavior.

  1. Gut Melatonin in Vertebrates: Chronobiology and Physiology.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Melatonin and female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Hiroshi; Takasaki, Akihisa; Taketani, Toshiaki; Tanabe, Manabu; Lee, Lifa; Tamura, Isao; Maekawa, Ryo; Aasada, Hiromi; Yamagata, Yoshiaki; Sugino, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is secreted during the dark hours at night by the pineal gland. After entering the circulation, melatonin acts as an endocrine factor and a chemical messenger of light and darkness. It regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. It also affects the brain, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, bone and endocrine functions and acts as an oncostatic and anti-aging molecule. Many of melatonin's actions are mediated through interactions with specific membrane-bound receptors expressed not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral tissues. Melatonin also acts through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms, for example serving as a scavenger for reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. At both physiological and pharmacological concentrations, melatonin attenuates and counteracts oxidative stress and regulates cellular metabolism. Growing scientific evidence of reproductive physiology supports the role of melatonin in human reproduction. This review was conducted to investigate the effects of melatonin on female reproduction and to summarize our findings in this field. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research © 2013 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  4. 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.

  5. Melatonin and Aircrew: Is an Operational Use Recommended?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-06-01

    natural hormone, derived from modification of dietary intake being the most often serotonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland cited. Physical...journey. 25 hour periodicity characteristic of the suprachi- asmatic nucleus to one of 24 hours. Thus, the PHARMACOLOGIC MANAGEMENT OF JET pineal gland ...REFERENCES during rapid deployment missions. NATO - RTA - AMP Meeting, 29 Sep-3 Oct 1997, Rotterdam. 1. Arendt J. Melatonin and the mammalian pineal gland

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Thrombopoietic properties of 5-methoxytryptamine plus melatonin versus melatonin alone in the treatment of cancer-related thrombocytopenia.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, P; Bucovec, R; Bonfanti, A; Giani, L; Mandelli, A; Roselli, M G; Rovelli, F; Fumagalli, L

    2001-03-01

    Recent studies have shown that the hematopoietic system is under neuroendocrine control. In particular, thrombopoiesis has been proven to be stimulated by melatonin, and the pineal indole has been shown to be effective in the treatment of thrombocytopenia resulting from different causes. At present, however, there are no data concerning the possible thrombopoietic activity of pineal indoles other than melatonin. The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of a concomitant administration of the pineal indole 5-methoxytryptamine in patients with cancer-related thrombocytopenia who did not respond to melatonin alone. The present study included 30 patients, who were randomized to receive melatonin alone (20 mg/day orally in the evening) or melatonin plus 5-methoxytryptamine (1 mg/day orally in the early afternoon). A normalization of platelet count was achieved in 5/14 (36%) patients treated with melatonin plus 5-methoxytryptamine and in none of the patients treated with melatonin alone (P < 0.05). Moreover, mean platelet number significantly increased only in the patients treated with melatonin plus 5-methoxytryptamine. This preliminary clinical study would suggest that 5-methoxytryptamine, a pineal indole, may also exert thrombopoietic activity. Further studies, however, will be required to establish whether 5-methoxytryptamine may play a direct thrombopoietic activity, or whether it may act by improving melatonin's efficacy.

  9. Chromotherapy in the regulation of neurohormonal balance in human brain--complementary application in modern psychiatric treatment.

    PubMed

    Radeljak, Sanja; Zarković-Palijan, Tija; Kovacević, Drazen; Kovac, Marina

    2008-10-01

    Chromotherapy is based on the effect of colored light with different frequencies on human neurohormonal pathways, precisely on melatonin and serotonin pathways in brain. There is evidence that visible electromagnetic spectrum of light we see as colors can have impact on human health, Cicardian rhythm or biological clock is complex fundamental physiological and biological cycle in human organism. The biological clock in humans is located in the specialized group of brain cells called suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) within the anterior hypothalamus. The complex process of neurohormonal regulation of cicardian rhythm in humans is essential for synchronized interaction and coordination of internal body function with the environment. Given these facts it is clear that any shift in cicardian rhythm results in neurohormonal imbalance which consequently could lead to various psychiatric disorders affecting humans. Studies on sleep disorders, depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suggested that symptoms, signs, and biologic markers associated to these psychiatric disorders are due to marked alterations in melatonin and serotonin levels. The main hypothesis of chromotherapy is that specific colors of the visible spectrum are activators or inhibitors of complex physiological, biological and biochemical processes in human brain such as synthesis of various neurohormons. According to all previous findings, our goal is future investigation of the effect and possible application of chromotherapy in the complementary psychiatric treatment in patients with diagnostic criteria which are clearly related to melatonin and serotonin disturbances.

  10. The rat pineal gland comprises an endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Koch, Marco; Habazettl, Iris; Dehghani, Faramarz; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2008-11-01

    In the mammalian pineal gland, the rhythm in melatonin biosynthesis depends on the norepinephrine (NE)-driven regulation of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the penultimate enzyme of melatonin biosynthesis. A recent study showed that phytocannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol reduce AANAT activity and attenuate NE-induced melatonin biosynthesis in rat pineal glands, raising the possibility that an endocannabinoid system is present in the pineal gland. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed cannabinoid (CB) receptors and specific enzymes for endocannabinoid biosynthesis or catabolism in rat pineal glands and cultured pinealocytes. Immunohistochemical and immunoblot analyses revealed the presence of CB1 and CB2 receptor proteins, of N-acyl phosphatidyl ethanolamine hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), an enzyme catalyzing endocannabinoid biosynthesis and of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an endocannabinoid catabolizing enzyme, in pinealocytes, and in pineal sympathetic nerve fibers identified by double immunofluorescence with an antibody against tyrosine hydroxylase. The immunosignals for the CB2 receptor, NAPE-PLD, and FAAH found in pinealocytes did not vary under a 12 hr light:12 hr dark cycle. The CB1 receptor immunoreaction in pinealocytes was significantly reduced at the end of the light phase [zeitgeber time (ZT) 12]. The immunosignal for NAPE-PLD found in pineal sympathetic nerve fibers was reduced in the middle of the dark phase (ZT 18). Stimulation of cultured pinealocytes with NE affected neither the subcellular distribution nor the intensity of the immunosignals for the investigated CB receptors and enzymes. In summary, the pineal gland comprises indispensable compounds of the endocannabinoid system indicating that endocannabinoids may be involved in the control of pineal physiology.

  11. Tryptophan hydroxylase is modulated by L-type calcium channels in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Roseli; Scialfa, Julieta Helena; Terra, Ilza Mingarini; Cipolla-Neto, José; Simonneaux, Valérie; Afeche, Solange Castro

    2008-02-27

    Calcium is an important second messenger in the rat pineal gland, as well as cAMP. They both contribute to melatonin synthesis mediated by the three main enzymes of the melatonin synthesis pathway: tryptophan hydroxylase, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase. The cytosolic calcium is elevated in pinealocytes following alpha(1)-adrenergic stimulation, through IP(3)-and membrane calcium channels activation. Nifedipine, an L-type calcium channel blocker, reduces melatonin synthesis in rat pineal glands in vitro. With the purpose of investigating the mechanisms involved in melatonin synthesis regulation by the L-type calcium channel, we studied the effects of nifedipine on noradrenergic stimulated cultured rat pineal glands. Tryptophan hydroxylase, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activities were quantified by radiometric assays and 5-hydroxytryptophan, serotonin, N-acetylserotonin and melatonin contents were quantified by HPLC with electrochemical detection. The data showed that calcium influx blockaded by nifedipine caused a decrease in tryptophan hydroxylase activity, but did not change either arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase or hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activities. Moreover, there was a reduction of 5-hydroxytryptophan, serotonin, N-acetylserotonin and melatonin intracellular content, as well as a reduction of serotonin and melatonin secretion. Thus, it seems that the calcium influx through L-type high voltage-activated calcium channels is essential for the full activation of tryptophan hydroxylase leading to melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. An historical view of the pineal gland and mental disorders.

    PubMed

    López-Muñoz, F; Molina, J D; Rubio, G; Alamo, C

    2011-08-01

    Since Classical Antiquity numerous authors have linked the origin of some mental disorders to physical and functional changes in the pineal gland because of its attributed role in humans as the connection between the material and the spiritual world. The pineal organ was seen as a valve-like structure that regulated the flow of animal spirits through the ventricular system, a hypothesis that took on more vigour during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The framework for this theory was "the three cells of the brain", in which the pineal gland was even called the "appendix of thought". The pineal gland could also be associated with the boom, during this period, of certain legends about the "stone of folly". But the most relevant psychopathological role of this organ arrived with Descartes, who proposed that it was the seat of the human soul and controlled communications between the physical body and its surroundings, including emotions. After a period of decline during which it was considered as a mere vestigial remnant of evolution, the link between the pineal gland and psychiatric disorders was definitively highlighted in the 20th century, first with the use of glandular extracts in patients with mental deficiency, and finally with the discovery of melatonin in 1958. The physiological properties of melatonin reawakened interest in the relationship between the pineal gland and mental disorders, fundamentally the affective and sleep disorders, which culminated in the development of new pharmacological agents acting through melatonergic receptors (ramelteon and agomelatine).

  15. Melatonin in pathogenesis and therapy of cancer.

    PubMed

    Ravindra, T; Lakshmi, N K; Ahuja, Y R

    2006-12-01

    Melatonin is a neuroendocrine hormone secreted by the pineal gland to transduce the body's circadian rhythms. An internal 24 hour time keeping system (biological clock) regulated by melatonin, controls the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin production is a highly conserved evolutionary phenomenon. The indole hormone is synthesized in the pinealocytes derived from photoreceptors. Altered patterns and/or levels of melatonin secretion have been reported to coincide with sleep disorders, jetlag, depression, stress, reproductive activities, some forms of cancer and immunological disorders. Lately, the physiological and pathological role of melatonin has become a priority area of investigation, particularly in breast cancer, melanoma, colon cancer, lung cancer and leukemia. According to the 'melatonin hypothesis' of cancer, the exposure to light at night (LAN) and anthropogenic electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) is related to the increased incidence of breast cancer and childhood leukaemia via melatonin disruption. Melatonin's hypothermic, antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties, attribute it to an immunomodulator and an oncostatic agent as well. Many clinical studies have envisaged the potential therapeutic role of melatonin in various pathophysiological disorders, particularly cancer. A substantial reduction in risk of death and low adverse effects were reported from various randomized controlled trials of melatonin treatment in cancer patients. This review summarizes the physiological significance of melatonin and its potential role in cancer therapy. Furthermore, the article focuses on melatonin hypothesis to represent the cause-effect relationship of the three aspects: EMF, LAN and cancer.

  16. '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.

  17. Inhibition of hippocampal neurogenesis by sleep deprivation is independent of circadian disruption and melatonin suppression.

    PubMed

    Mueller, A D; Mear, R J; Mistlberger, R E

    2011-10-13

    Procedures that restrict or fragment sleep can inhibit neurogenesis in the hippocampus of adult rodents, although the underlying mechanism is unknown. We showed that rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep deprivation (RSD) by the platform-over-water method inhibits hippocampal cell proliferation in adrenalectomized rats with low-dose corticosterone clamp. This procedure also greatly disrupts daily behavioral rhythms. Given recent evidence for circadian clock regulation of cell proliferation, we asked whether disruption of circadian rhythms might play a role in the anti-neurogenic effects of sleep loss. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a 4-day RSD procedure or were exposed to constant bright light (LL) for 4 days or 10 weeks, a non-invasive procedure for eliminating circadian rhythms of behavior and physiology in this species. Proliferating cells in the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus were identified by immunolabeling for the thymidine analogue 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine. Consistent with our previous results, the RSD procedure suppressed cell proliferation by ∼50%. By contrast, although LL attenuated or eliminated daily rhythms of activity and sleep-wake without affecting daily amounts of REM sleep, cell proliferation was not affected. Melatonin, a nocturnally secreted neurohormone that is inhibited by light, has been shown to promote survival of new neurons. We found that 3-weeks of LL eliminated daily rhythms and decreased plasma melatonin by 88% but did not significantly affect either total cell survival or survival of new neurons (doublecortin+). Finally, we measured cell proliferation rates at the beginning and near the end of the daily light period in rats entrained to a 12:12 light/lark (LD) cycle, but did not detect a daily rhythm. These results indicate that the antineurogenic effect of RSD is not secondary to disruption of circadian rhythms, and provide no evidence that hippocampal cell proliferation and survival are regulated by the circadian

  18. Intake of melatonin increases tryptophan hydroxylase type 1 activity in aged rats: Preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Moranta, D; Barceló, P; Aparicio, S; Garau, C; Sarubbo, F; Ramis, M; Nicolau, C; Esteban, S

    2014-01-01

    Pineal melatonin is important not only for synchronization of biological rhythms, but also in the ageing process as a potential drug to relieve oxidative damage. During ageing, the nocturnal melatonin production decreases resulting in an increased incidence of disorders. Present in vivo experiments were performed to study the effects of exogenous melatonin chronically administered to old rats on the pineal biosynthesis of melatonin and the precursor serotonin (5-HT) mediated by tryptophan hydroxylase type 1 (TPH-1). Accumulation of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) after decarboxylase inhibition was used as a measure of the TPH-1 activity. 5-HT and its metabolite 5-HIAA were also quantified by HPLC-ED. As expected, ageing resulted in worsening of different neurochemical parameters. However, chronic intake of melatonin (1mg/kg/day, diluted in drinking water, 4 weeks) increased TPH-1 activity and significantly improved the age-induced deficits in nocturnal melatonin content in the pineal gland. Results suggest that melatonin intake (or melatonin rich foods) may contribute to recover the pineal function preventing the nocturnal descent of 5-HT and melatonin biosynthesis that normally occur in pineal gland as a consequence of ageing. © 2013.

  19. 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.

  20. The role of melatonin membrane receptors in melatonin-dependent oxytocin secretion from the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system - an in vitro and in vivo approach.

    PubMed

    Juszczak, Marlena; Wolak, Monika; Bojanowska, Ewa; Piera, Lucyna; Roszczyk, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin exerts its biological role acting mainly via G protein-coupled membrane MT1 and MT2 receptors. To determine whether a response of oxytocinergic neurons to different concentrations of melatonin is mediated through membrane MT1 and/or MT2 receptors, the effect of melatonin receptors antagonists, i.e. luzindole (a non-selective antagonist of both MT1 and MT2 receptors) and 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin (4-P-PDOT - a selective antagonist of MT2 receptor), on melatonin-dependent oxytocin (OT) secretion from the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophysial (H-N) system, has been studied both in vitro and in vivo. For in vitro experiment, male rats served as donors of the H-N explants, which were placed in 1 ml of normal Krebs-Ringer fluid (nKRF) heated to 37oC. The H-N explants were incubated successively in nKRF {fluid B1} and incubation fluid as B1 enriched with appropriate concentration of melatonin, i.e. 10-9 M, 10-7 M, or 10-3 M and luzindole or 4-P-PDOT, or their vehicles (0.1% ethanol or DMSO) {fluid B2}. After 20 minutes of incubation in fluid B1 and then B2, the media were collected and immediately frozen before OT estimation by the RIA. The OT secretion was determined by using the B2/B1 ratio for each H-N explant. During in vivo experiment, rats were given an intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of 5 mL luzindole or 4-P-PDOT, or their solvent (0.1% DMSO) and 10 minutes later the next i.c.v. infusion of 5 mL of either melatonin solution (10-7 M) or its vehicle (0.1 % ethanol in 0.9% sodium chloride). Melatonin at a concentration of 10-3 M significantly stimulated, while at a concentration of 10-9 M had no effect on, oxytocin secretion from the rat H-N system in vitro, also when luzindole or 4-P-PDOT was present in a medium. On the other hand, melatonin at a concentration of 10-7 M diminished this neurohormone output from an isolated H-N system and into the blood. Luzindole significantly suppressed such melatonin action, while 4-P-PDOT did not change the

  1. 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.

  2. Role of melatonin in embryo fetal development.

    PubMed

    Voiculescu, S E; Zygouropoulos, N; Zahiu, C D; Zagrean, A M

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin is an indoleamine produced by the pineal gland and secreted in a circadian manner. In the past few decades, research over this topic has been enhanced. Melatonin has many important roles in the human physiology: regulator of the circadian rhythms, sleep inducer, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic. This paper reviews the involvement of melatonin in embryo fetal development. The pineal gland develops completely postpartum, so both the embryo and the fetus are dependent on the maternal melatonin provided transplacentally. Melatonin appears to be involved in the normal outcome of pregnancy beginning with the oocyte quality and finishing with the parturition. Its pregnancy night-time concentrations increase after 24 weeks of gestation, with significantly high levels after 32 weeks. Melatonin receptors are widespread in the embryo and fetus since early stages. There is solid evidence that melatonin is neuroprotective and has a positive effect on the outcome of the compromised pregnancies. In addition, chronodisruption leads to a reproductive dysfunction. Thus, the influence of melatonin on the developing human fetus may not be limited to the entertaining of circadian rhythmicity, but further studies are needed.

  3. Role of pineal gland in aetiology and treatment of breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Cohen, M; Lippman, M; Chabner, B

    1978-10-14

    The hypothesis that diminished function of the pineal gland may promote the development of breast cancer in human beings is suggested by the relation between breast cancer and prolonged oestrogen excess, and by the observation that the pineal secretion, melatonin, inhibits ovarian oestrogen production, pituitary gonadotrophin production, and sexual development and maturation. The hypothesis is supported by the following points. (1) Pineal calcification is commonest in countries with high rates of breast cancer and lowest in areas with a low incidence; the incidences of pineal calcification and of breast cancer are moderate among the black population in the United States. (2) Chlorpromazine raises serum-melatonin; there are reports that psychiatric patients taking chlorpromazine have a lower incidence of breast cancer. (3) Although information is lacking on breast cancer, the pineal and melatonin may influence tumour induction and growth in experimental animals. (4) The demonstration of a melatonin receptor in human ovary suggests a direct influence of this hormone on the ovarian function, and possibly oestrogen production. (5) Impaired pineal secretion is believed to be an important factor triggering puberty (early menarche is a risk factor for breast cancer).

  4. Daily variation of constitutively activated nuclear factor kappa B (NFKB) in rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Cecon, Erika; Fernandes, Pedro A; Pinato, Luciana; Ferreira, Zulma S; Markus, Regina P

    2010-01-01

    In mammals, the production of melatonin by the pineal gland is mainly controlled by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), the master clock of the circadian system. We have previously shown that agents involved in inflammatory responses, such as cytokines and corticosterone, modulate pineal melatonin synthesis. The nuclear transcription factor NFKB, detected by our group in the rat pineal gland, modulates this effect. Here, we evaluated a putative constitutive role for the pineal gland NFKB pathway. Male rats were kept under 12 h:12 h light-dark (LD) cycle or under constant darkness (DD) condition. Nuclear NFKB was quantified by electrophoretic mobility shift assay on pineal glands obtained from animals killed throughout the day at different times. Nuclear content of NFKB presented a daily rhythm only in LD-entrained animals. During the light phase, the amount of NFKB increased continuously, and a sharp drop occurred when lights were turned off. Animals maintained in a constant light environment until ZT 18 showed diurnal levels of nuclear NFKB at ZT15 and ZT18. Propranolol (20 mg/kg, i.p., ZT 11) treatment, which inhibits nocturnal sympathetic input, impaired nocturnal decrease of NFKB only at ZT18. A similar effect was observed in free-running animals, which secreted less nocturnal melatonin. Because melatonin reduces constitutive NFKB activation in cultured pineal glands, we propose that this indolamine regulates this transcription factor pathway in the rat pineal gland, but not at the LD transition. The controversial results regarding the inhibition of pineal function by constant light or blocking sympathetic neurotransmission are discussed according to the hypothesis that the prompt effect of lights-off is not mediated by noradrenaline, which otherwise contributes to maintaining low levels of nuclear NFKB at night. In summary, we report here a novel transcription factor in the pineal gland, which exhibits a constitutive rhythm dependent on environmental photic

  5. 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.

  6. Circadian dynamics of the cone-rod homeobox (CRX) transcription factor in the rat pineal gland and its role in regulation of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT).

    PubMed

    Rohde, Kristian; Rovsing, Louise; Ho, Anthony K; Møller, Morten; Rath, Martin F

    2014-08-01

    The cone-rod homeobox (Crx) gene encodes a transcription factor in the retina and pineal gland. Crx deficiency influences the pineal transcriptome, including a reduced expression of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (Aanat), a key enzyme in nocturnal pineal melatonin production. However, previous functional studies on pineal Crx have been performed in melatonin-deficient mice. In this study, we have investigated the role of Crx in the melatonin-proficient rat pineal gland. The current study shows that pineal Crx transcript levels exhibit a circadian rhythm with a peak in the middle of the night, which is transferred into daily changes in CRX protein. The study further shows that the sympathetic innervation of the pineal gland controls the Crx rhythm. By use of adenovirus-mediated short hairpin RNA gene knockdown targeting Crx mRNA in primary rat pinealocyte cell culture, we here show that intact levels of Crx mRNA are required to obtain high levels of Aanat expression, whereas overexpression of Crx induces Aanat transcription in vitro. This regulatory function of Crx is further supported by circadian analysis of Aanat in the pineal gland of the Crx-knockout mouse. Our data indicate that the rhythmic nature of pineal CRX protein may directly modulate the daily profile of Aanat expression by inducing nighttime expression of this enzyme, thus facilitating nocturnal melatonin synthesis in addition to its role in ensuring a correct tissue distribution of Aanat expression.

  7. Properties of the melatonin-generating system of the sailfin molly, Poecilia velifera.

    PubMed

    Okimoto, D K; Stetson, M H

    1999-05-01

    The properties of the melatonin-generating system of a tropical teleost, the sailfin molly (Poecilia velifera), were investigated in vitro in a series of experiments using static or perifusion culture techniques. The properties examined included photic entrainment, circadian rhythmicity under continuous light (LL) and continuous darkness (DD), functionality of the melatonin-generating system at birth, and presence of multiple circadian oscillators in the molly pineal. Pineal glands or skull caps with the pineal gland firmly attached were dissected from adult and new-born fishes, respectively, and placed into static or perifusion culture at constant temperature (27 degrees C) depending upon the experiment. Melatonin release in samples was quantified by RIA. Rhythmic melatonin release was observed from isolated adult pineals under 12L:12D and 14L:10D, with low amounts of melatonin released during the light and high amounts during the dark. Melatonin release was inhibited by LL. However, under DD, melatonin release was robust and rhythmic with a circadian period (Tau) that ranged between 21.3 and 27.0 h (n = 21). Pineals from new-born (1-day old) mollies released melatonin rhythmically under a light:dark cycle and DD in both static and perifusion culture. Melatonin release from half and quarter pineals of adult mollies under DD was robust and rhythmic with circadian periods that ranged between 22.5 and 29.0 h (n = 19). Taken together, these data show that the molly pineal is photosensitive, fully functional from birth, and contains multiple circadian oscillators (at least four) regulating melatonin production. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  8. Melatonin-induced glycosaminoglycans augmentation in myocardium remote to infarction.

    PubMed

    Drobnik, J; Tosik, D; Piera, L; Szczepanowska, A; Olczak, S; Zielinska, A; Liberski, P P; Ciosek, J

    2013-12-01

    Elevated levels of collagen as well as transient increases of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) have been shown in the myocardium remote to the infarction. The aim of the study is to observe the effect of melatonin on the accumulation of collagen and GAG in the left ventricle wall, remote to the infarction. A second aim is to determine whether the effect of the pineal indole is mediated by the membrane melatonin receptors of heart fibroblasts. Rats with myocardial infarction induced by ligation of the left coronary artery were treated with melatonin at a dose of 60 μg/100 g b.w. or vehicle (2% ethanol in 0.9% NaCl). The results were compared with an untreated control. In the second part of the study, the fibroblasts from the non-infarcted part of myocardium were isolated and cultured. Melatonin at a range of concentrations from 10(-8) M to 10(-6) M was applied to the fibroblast cultures. In the final part of the study, the influence of luzindole (10(-6) M), the melatonin membrane receptor inhibitor, on melatonin-induced GAG augmentation was investigated. Both collagen and GAG content were measured in the experiment. Melatonin elevated GAG content in the myocardium remote to the infarcted heart. Collagen level was not changed by pineal indoleamine. Fibroblasts isolated from the myocardium varied in shape from fusiform to spindle-shaped. Moreover, the pineal hormone (10(-7)M and 10(-6)M) increased GAG accumulation in the fibroblast culture. Luzindole inhibited melatonin-induced elevation of GAG content at 10(-6)M. Melatonin increased GAG content in the myocardium remote to infarction. This effect was dependent on the direct influence of the pineal indole on the heart fibroblasts. The melatonin-induced GAG elevation is blocked by luzindole, the melatonin membrane receptors inhibitor, indicating a direct effect of this indole.

  9. The immune-pineal axis: stress as a modulator of pineal gland function.

    PubMed

    Couto-Moraes, Renato; Palermo-Neto, João; Markus, Regina Pekelmann

    2009-02-01

    The temporal organization of mammals presents a daily adjustment to the environmental light/dark cycle. The environmental light detected by the retina adjusts the central clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei, which innervate the pineal gland through a polysynaptic pathway. During the night, this gland produces and releases the nocturnal hormone melatonin, which circulates throughout the whole body and adjusts several bodily functions according to the existence and duration of darkness. We have previously shown that during the time frame of an inflammatory response, pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, inhibit while anti-inflammatory mediators, such as glucocorticoids, enhance the synthesis of melatonin, interfering in the daily adjustment of the light/dark cycle. Therefore, injury disconnects the organism from environmental cycling, while recovery restores the light/dark information to the whole organism. Here, we extend these observations by evaluating the effect of a mild restraint stress, which did not induce macroscopic gastric lesions. After 2 h of restraint, there was an increase in circulating corticosterone, indicating activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In parallel, an increase in melatonin production was observed. Taking into account the data obtained with models of inflammation and stress, we reinforce the hypothesis that the activity of the pineal gland is modulated by the state of the immune system and the HPA axis, implicating the darkness hormone melatonin as a modulator of defense responses.

  10. Pineal Gland Volume Assessed by MRI and Its Correlation with 6-Sulfatoxymelatonin Levels among Older Men.

    PubMed

    Sigurdardottir, Lara G; Markt, Sarah C; Sigurdsson, Sigurdur; Aspelund, Thor; Fall, Katja; Schernhammer, Eva; Rider, Jennifer R; Launer, Lenore; Harris, Tamara; Stampfer, Meir J; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Czeisler, Charles A; Lockley, Steven W; Valdimarsdottir, Unnur A; Mucci, Lorelei A

    2016-10-01

    The pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin, and its volume may influence melatonin levels. We describe an innovative method for estimating pineal volume in humans and present the association of pineal parenchyma volume with levels of the primary melatonin metabolite, 6-sulfatoxymelatonin. We selected a random sample of 122 older Icelandic men nested within the AGES-Reykjavik cohort and measured their total pineal volume, their parenchyma volume, and the extent of calcification and cysts. For volume estimations we used manual segmentation of magnetic resonance images in the axial plane with simultaneous side-by-side view of the sagittal and coronal plane. We used multivariable adjusted linear regression models to estimate the association of pineal parenchyma volume and baseline characteristics, including 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels. We used logistic regression to test for differences in first morning urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels among men with or without cystic or calcified glands. The pineal glands varied in volume, shape, and composition. Cysts were present in 59% of the glands and calcifications in 21%. The mean total pineal volume measured 207 mm(3) (range 65-536 mm(3)) and parenchyma volume 178 mm(3) (range 65-503 mm(3)). In multivariable-adjusted models, pineal parenchyma volume was positively correlated with 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels (β = 0.52, p < 0.001). Levels of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin did not differ significantly by presence of cysts or calcification. By using an innovative method for pineal assessment, we found pineal parenchyma volume to be positively correlated with 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels, in line with other recent studies.

  11. 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.

  12. Autonomic nerves terminating on smooth muscle cells of vessels in the pineal organ of various mammals.

    PubMed

    Frank, C L; Dávid, C; Czirok, S; Vincze, C; Manzano, M J; Vígh, B

    2003-01-01

    The significance of autonomic nerves reaching the pincal organ was already investigated in connection to the innervation of pinealocytes and mediating light information from the retina for periodic melatonin secretion. In earlier works we found that some autonomic nerve fibers are not secretomotor but terminate on arteriolar smooth muscle cells in the pineal organ of the mink (Mustela vison). Studying in serial sections the pineal organ of the mink and 15 other mammalian species in the present work, we investigated whether similar axons of vasomotor-type are generally present in the wall of pineal vessels, further, whether they reach the organ via the conarian nerves or via periarterial plexuses. In all species investigated, axons of perivasal nerve bundles were found to form terminal enlargements on the smooth muscle layer of pineal arterioles. The neuromuscular endings contain several synaptic and some granular vesicles. Axon terminals are also present around pineal veins. In serial sections, we found that the so-called conarian autonomic nerves reach the pineal organ alongside pineal veins draining into the great internal cerebral vein. Similar nerves present near arteries of the arachnoid enter the pineal meningeal capsule and septa by arterioles, both perivenous and periarterial nerves form terminals of vasomotor-type. The arteriomotor and venomotor regulation of the tone of the vessels of the pineal organ may serve the vascular support for circadian and circannual periodic changes in metabolic activity of the pineal tissue.

  13. Melatonin: a potential intervention for hepatic steatosis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hang; Huang, Fang-fang; Qu, Shen

    2015-07-22

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, MLT) is a neuroendocrine hormone, which is primarily synthesized by the pineal gland in vertebrates. Melatonin is a remarkable molecule with diverse biological and physiological actions and is involved in the regulation of various important functions such as circadian rhythm, energy metabolism, the reproductive system, the cardiovascular system, and the neuropsychiatric system. It also plays a role in disease by having anti-neoplastic and anti-osteoarthritic effects among others. Recently, research has focused on the roles of melatonin in oxidative stress, lipid metabolism, and hepatic steatosis and its potential therapeutic roles.

  14. 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

  15. Melatonin: aeromedical, toxicopharmacological, and analytical aspects.

    PubMed

    Sanders, D C; Chaturvedi, A K; Hordinsky, J R

    1999-01-01

    Melatonin, a pineal hormone present in the blood of humans and other species, has a distinct diurnal variation in its biosynthesis and, therefore, in its concentration. This variation has suggested the possibility of a regulatory function in day/night-dependent physiological processes such as sleep and has led scientists to explore the effects of administered melatonin on the modulation of circadian rhythms. For the self-treatment of sleep disorders and other benefits, melatonin use has been extolled to the extent that 20 million new consumers were added to the U.S. retail market in 1995. Its principal aeromedical application has been in the experimental treatment of jet-lag effects. For aircraft passengers, melatonin administration at destination bedtime appears to improve sleep quality and to decrease the time required to reestablish normal circadian rhythms. For international aircrews that travel through multiple time zones without time to adapt to new environments, taking melatonin before arriving home may further impair already disturbed circadian rhythms. Its use to adjust to shiftwork changes by air traffic controllers, aircraft maintenance workers, and support personnel is even more controversial. Limited studies suggest that giving this hormone to shift workers should be done only under controlled conditions and that taking it at the wrong time may actually impair job performance. Because of its possible interaction with certain medications and the changes in its concentrations observed in some clinical conditions, the practitioner must exercise caution during the medical certification of airmen. The variations in the concentration of melatonin can be effectively determined by radioimmunoassay, high-performance liquid chromatography, and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analytical techniques. These techniques are capable of measuring the human daytime (10 pg/mL) and nighttime (30-120 pg/mL) melatonin in plasma/serum. Melatonin measurements in victims

  16. Antiinflammatory Activity of Melatonin in Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Esposito, Emanuela; Cuzzocrea, Salvatore

    2010-01-01

    Melatonin is mainly produced in the mammalian pineal gland during the dark phase. Its secretion from the pineal gland has been classically associated with circadian and circanual rhythm regulation. However, melatonin production is not confined exclusively to the pineal gland, but other tissues including retina, Harderian glands, gut, ovary, testes, bone marrow and lens also produce it. Several studies have shown that melatonin reduces chronic and acute inflammation. The immunomodulatory properties of melatonin are well known; it acts on the immune system by regulating cytokine production of immunocompetent cells. Experimental and clinical data showing that melatonin reduces adhesion molecules and pro-inflammatory cytokines and modifies serum inflammatory parameters. As a consequence, melatonin improves the clinical course of illnesses which have an inflammatory etiology. Moreover, experimental evidence supports its actions as a direct and indirect antioxidant, scavenging free radicals, stimulating antioxidant enzymes, enhancing the activities of other antioxidants or protecting other antioxidant enzymes from oxidative damage. Several encouraging clinical studies suggest that melatonin is a neuroprotective molecule in neurodegenerative disorders where brain oxidative damage has been implicated as a common link. In this review, the authors examine the effect of melatonin on several neurological diseases with inflammatory components, including dementia, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and brain ischemia/reperfusion but also in traumatic CNS injuries (traumatic brain and spinal cord injury) PMID:21358973

  17. Perinatal development of circadian melatonin production in domestic chicks.

    PubMed

    Zeman, M; Gwinner, E; Herichová, I; Lamosová, D; Kost'ál, L

    1999-01-01

    In contrast to the situation in mammals, in which circadian melatonin production by the pineal gland does not begin until some time after birth, the development of pineal gland rhythmicity is an embryonic event in the precocial domestic fowl. A distinct melatonin rhythm was found in 19-d-old chick embryos maintained under light:dark (LD) 16:8. No significant variation in melatonin levels was detected in embryos exposed to LD 8:16. The melatonin rhythm in the pineal gland and plasma of chick embryos incubated for 18 d in LD 12:12 persisted for 2 d in constant darkness indicating that melatonin production is under circadian control at least from the end of embryonic life. A 1-d exposure to a LD cycle during the first postembryonic day was sufficient to entrain the melatonin rhythm, and previous embryonic exposure to either LD or constant darkness (DD) neither modified this rapid synchronization nor did it affect the melatonin pattern during the two subsequent days in DD. It is suggested that, in contrast to the situation in mammals, the avian embryo has evolved its own early circadian melatonin-producing system because, as a consequence of its extrauterine development, it cannot use the system of its mother.

  18. 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.

  19. Chronic exposure to 60-Hz electric fields: effects on pineal function in the rat

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, B.W.; Anderson, L.E.; Hilton, D.I.; Philips, R.D.

    1980-01-01

    As a component of studies to search for effects of 60-Hz electric field exposure on mammalian endocrine function, concentrations of melatonin, 5-methoxytryptophol, and serotonin-N-acetyl transferase activity were measured in the pineal glands of rats exposed or sham-exposed at 65 kV/m for 30 days.In two replicate experiments there were statistically significant differences between exposed and control rats in that the normal nocturnal increase in pineal melatonin content was depressed in the exposed animals. Concentrations of 5-methoxytryptophol were increased in the pineal glands of the exposed groups when compared to sham-exposed controls. An alteration was also observed in serotonin-N-acetyl transferase activity, with lower levels measured in pineal glands from exposed animals.

  20. Melatonin: Physiological effects in humans.

    PubMed

    Claustrat, B; Leston, J

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin is a methoxyindole synthesized and secreted principally by the pineal gland at night under normal light/dark conditions. The endogenous rhythm of secretion is generated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei and entrained to the light/dark cycle. Light is able to either suppress or synchronize melatonin production according to the light schedule. The nycthohemeral rhythm of this hormone can be evaluated by repeated measurement of plasma or saliva melatonin or urine sulfatoxymelatonin, the main hepatic metabolite. The primary physiological function of melatonin, whose secretion adjusts to night length, is to convey information concerning the daily cycle of light and darkness to body structures. This information is used for the organisation of functions, which respond to changes in the photoperiod such as the seasonal rhythms. Seasonal rhythmicity of physiological functions in humans related to possible alteration of the melatonin message remains, however, of limited evidence in temperate areas under field conditions. Also, the daily melatonin secretion, which is a very robust biochemical signal of night, can be used for the organisation of circadian rhythms. Although functions of this hormone in humans are mainly based on correlations between clinical observations and melatonin secretion, there is some evidence that melatonin stabilises and strengthens coupling of circadian rhythms, especially of core temperature and sleep-wake rhythms. The circadian organisation of other physiological functions depend also on the melatonin signal, for instance immune, antioxidant defences, haemostasis and glucose regulation. The difference between physiological and pharmacological effects of melatonin is not always clear but is based upon consideration of dose and not of duration of the hormone message. It is admitted that a "physiological" dose provides plasma melatonin levels in the same order of magnitude as a nocturnal peak. Since the regulating system of melatonin secretion

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

    PubMed

    Comai, Stefano; Gobbi, Gabriella

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. 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. Studies examining the role of MT2 receptors in psychopharmacology are still limited. 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.

  2. Melatonin, the Pineal Gland, and Circadian Rhythms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-05-31

    temperature and sleep rhyhms in the rat. Physlol. Behav. 32: 357-368, 1984. 19. Edgar , D. M., and C. A. Fuller. Effect of SCN lesions on sleep in...Reuss, S., R. F. Johnson, L. P. Morin , and R. Y. Moore. Localization of sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the spinal cord of the goldm hamste. hrin

  3. Melatonin, The Pineal Gland and Circadian Rhythms.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-04-30

    temperature and heartrate analysis equipment. Our initial project will test the equipment itself on congenitally blind chickens, since the rat behavioral ... analysis room will be occupied for at least 4 more months with Wade’s light sensitivity studies. This will allow us to work out the bugs in the new

  4. Melatonin, the Pineal Gland, and Circadian Rhythms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-02-28

    astrocytes in the chick visual suprachiasmatic nucleus . Trans, Soc. Res. Biol. Rhythms 4:118 4) Brooks, D.S., AJ. Mitchell and...W.S., T.H. Champney and V.M. Cassone ( in press) The suprachiasmatic nucleus controls circadian rhythms of heart-rate via the sympathetic nervous...sparrows. N•,u•.si.LAbs. 19: 1487 2) Warren, W.S., V.M. Cassone (1993) The regulation of multiple circadian outputs by the suprachiasmatic

  5. Experimental models of melatonin-deficient hypertension.

    PubMed

    Simko, Fedor; Reiter, Russel J; Pechanova, Olga; Paulis, Ludovit

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin secreted by the pineal gland plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure (BP) and its administration reduces hypertension both in animals and humans. There are two experimental models of melatonin-deficient hypertension: one induced by pinealectomy and another by continuous 24 hour exposure to light. Both models cause melatonin deficiency and prevent darkness-mediated nocturnal melatonin secretion and are associated with increased BP and myocardial, vascular and renal dysfunction. These models also lead to neurohumoral activation of the renin-angiotensin system, sympathetic nervous system, adrenocorticotrophin-glucocorticoid axis and cause insulin resistance. Together, these alterations contribute to rise in blood pressure by vasoconstrictive or circulatory fluid volume overload. The light induced hypertension model mimics the melatonin deficiency in patients with insufficient nocturnal BP decline, in those who have night shift or who are exposed to environmental light pollution. For this reason, this model is useful in development of anti-hypertensive drugs.

  6. Melatonin, consciousness, and traumatic stress.

    PubMed

    Bob, Petr; Fedor-Freybergh, Peter

    2008-05-01

    Descartes intuitively anticipated the so-called 'binding problem' of consciousness and thought that the pineal gland enables spatio-temporal integration in cognitive processing. Recent findings indicate that a major role in the process of temporal integration and binding involve neurons in suprachiasmatic nuclei, specifically targeting the pineal gland and other structures, and control the neuroendocrine rhythms. Melatonin is an endocrine output signal of the clock and provides circadian information as an endogenous synchronizer which stabilizes and reinforces circadian rhythms. This integrative process occurs at the different levels of the circadian network via gene expression in some brain regions and peripheral structures that enables integration of circadian, hormonal, and metabolic information and creating temporal order of bodily and mental experience. This specific temporal order is reflected in associative sequentiality that is necessary for cognition, behavior and all processes of memory consolidation that must preserve all information in the temporal causal order and synchrony. In this context, recent findings suggest that melatonin could be a potential regulator in the processes that contribute to memory formation, long-term potentiation, and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and other brain regions. There is evidence that stress disrupts normal activity and memory consolidation in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and this process leads to memories that are stored without a contextual or spatiotemporal frame. These findings emphasize a specific role of melatonin in mechanisms of consciousness, memory and stress and are also consistent with reported studies that indicate melatonin alterations under stressful conditions and in mental disorders.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Melatonin production in the sea star Echinaster brasiliensis (Echinodermata).

    PubMed

    Peres, Rafael; Amaral, Fernanda Gaspardo; Marques, Antonio Carlos; Neto, José Cipolla

    2014-04-01

    The primary hormone of the vertebrate pineal gland, melatonin, has been identified broadly throughout the tree of life, in animals, plants, and fungi, supporting a deep evolutionary origin for this signaling molecule. However, some key groups have not been studied. Echinoderms, deuterostome animals, are one of these groups. Herein we study the presence of melatonin and enzymes of its pathway in the sea star Echinaster brasiliensis. We demonstrate that E. brasiliensis produces endogenous melatonin, in the gonads, under a circadian pattern with a nocturnal peak of production. We also show that the enzymes arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) are present and are probably regulating the melatonin production.

  10. Photic and circadian regulation of melatonin production in the Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Nikaido, Yoshiaki; Ueda, Satomi; Takemura, Akihiro

    2009-01-01

    Diverse circadian systems related to phylogeny and ecological adaptive strategies are proposed in teleosts. Recently, retinal photoreception was reported to be important for the circadian pacemaking activities of the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. We aimed to confirm the photic and circadian responsiveness of its close relative-the Mozambique tilapia O. mossambicus. Melatonin production in cannulated or ophthalmectomized fish and its secretion from cultured pineal glands were examined under several light regimes. Melatonin production in the cannulated tilapias was measured at 3-h intervals; it fluctuated daily, with a nocturnal increase and a diurnal decrease. Exposing the cannulated fish to several light intensities (1500-0.1 lx) and to natural light (0.1 and 0.3 lx) suppressed melatonin levels within 30 min. Static pineal gland culture under light-dark and reverse light-dark cycles revealed that melatonin synthesis increased during the dark periods. Rhythmic melatonin synthesis disappeared on pineal gland culture under constant dark and light conditions. After ophthalmectomy, plasma melatonin levels did not vary with light-dark cycles. These results suggest that (1) Mozambique tilapias possess strong photic responsiveness, (2) their pineal glands are sensitive to light but lack circadian pacemaker activity, and (3) they require lateral eyes for rhythmic melatonin secretion from the pineal gland.

  11. Neurohormonal activation late after cavopulmonary connection

    PubMed Central

    Hjortdal, V; Stenbog, E; Ravn, H; Emmertsen, K; Jensen, K; Pedersen, E; Olsen, K; Hansen, O; Sorensen, K

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To determine whether patients with cavopulmonary connection have higher levels of vasoactive/water-salt regulating hormones and if so, whether hormone levels are related to postoperative haemodynamics and postoperative follow up.
DESIGN—Cross sectional study.
SETTING—University hospital.
PATIENTS—20 patients (New York Heart Association functional class I-II), mean age 11 years (range 4 to 22), were studied at a mean of 2 years (0.5 to 6) after a total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC, n = 12) or a bidirectional Glenn anastomosis (BDG, n = 8).
INTERVENTIONS—Cardiac catheterisation was performed and blood samples were drawn. Control blood samples were drawn from 33 healthy children, mean age 12 years (6 to 16).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Plasma levels of angiotensin II, renin, aldosterone, arginine, vasopressin, atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).
RESULTS—All neurohormones were significantly increased in both TCPC and BDG patients (p < 0.05), with a fourfold increase in angiotensin II, renin, and aldosterone, and a twofold increase in vasopressin, ANF, and BNP (compared with healthy controls). There was no correlation between haemodynamic variables and hormone levels. Angiotensin II and renin were inversely correlated with time to follow up. All subjects over 15 years (n = 5) had normal neurohormonal levels.
CONCLUSIONS—Neurohormones were raised for years after successful cavopulmonary operations but lower levels were observed with time on follow up. This supports the hypothesis that neurohormonal activation is primarily related to altered postoperative physiology and that adaptation takes place over time.


Keywords: neurohormones; cavopulmonary connection; congenital heart disease; paediatric cardiology PMID:10722548

  12. 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

  13. Arecoline cannot alter testicular dysfunction and pineal activation caused by noise in wistar rat.

    PubMed

    Saha, Indraneel; Chatterjee, Aniruddha; Chatterji, Urmi; Maiti, B R

    2017-07-13

    Millions of people consume betel nut for increased capacity to work and for stress reduction. The nut contains arecoline, which has multiple side effects on endocrine functions. Objective of the work is to investigate pineal-testicular responses to noise and after arecoline treatment in noise in rats. Noise exposure (100 dB, 6 h daily, 10 days) caused pineal stimulation ultrastructurally and at indoleamines level. Leydig cell dysfunction with fall of testosterone level and suppression of sex accessories were noticed. In contrast, pineal activity was inhibited and reproductive functions were stimulated after arecoline administration, confirmed from reversed changes to those of noise. Arecoline treatment in noise exposure showed same results as in noise both in pineal and in reproductive functions. It is concluded that noise causes testicular dysfunction probably by gonadotropin suppression induced by pineal melatonin in noise. Furthermore, arecoline cannot prevent it in noise in rats.

  14. Melatonin: interesting, but not miraculous.

    PubMed

    1998-12-01

    (1) In the United States melatonin is just a dietary supplement, but in Europe its status varies from country to country and also over time. It is illegal in some European member states but tolerated or authorised as a drug or dietary product elsewhere. Melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, has been on the front cover of magazines throughout the world for its claimed effects on ageing, cancer and many other health problems, opening up a vast potential market. (2) Only its use in jet lag, sleep disorders and advanced cancer has been tested clinically (albeit scantily). (3) Melatonin seems to alleviate jet lag symptoms, but that could be linked to its moderate hypnotic effect. (4) The use of melatonin to treat major insomnia cannot be envisaged until its long-term safety has been proven. With this proviso, and if efficacy is confirmed in sufficiently large comparative trials, melatonin could prove useful for treating major sleep disorders in some patients, especially blind people and those with severe neurological disabilities. (5) According to open trials conducted by a single team, melatonin, alone or combined with interleukin-2, could slightly lengthen the survival of patients with some advanced cancers, but even partial tumour remissions are rare. (6) All other "indications" are based on simplistic hypotheses or purely commercial considerations.

  15. Melatonin hormone profile in infertile males.

    PubMed

    Awad, Hosni; Halawa, Fawzy; Mostafa, Taymour; Atta, Hazem

    2006-06-01

    Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. There is much controversy about its relationship to the male reproductive process. In this study, seminal plasma as well as the serum melatonin levels were studied in different infertile male groups and were correlated with their semen parameters and hormonal levels. One hundred twenty male cases subdivided into six equal groups were consecutively included; fertile normozoospermic men, oligoasthenozoospermia (OA), OA with leucocytospermia, OA with varicocele, non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) with high serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and NOA with normal FSH. Semen analysis, estimation of melatonin, FSH, testosterone (T) and prolactin (PRL) hormone was carried out. Mean level of serum melatonin was higher than its corresponding seminal concentrations in all investigated groups with a positive correlation between their levels (r = 0.532, p = 0.01). Serum and seminal plasma melatonin levels in all infertile groups were reduced significantly compared with their levels in the fertile group. The lowest concentrations were in OA with leucocytospermia group. Melatonin in both serum and semen demonstrated significant correlation with sperm motility (r = 607, 0.623 respectively, p = 0.01). Serum melatonin correlated positively with serum PRL (r = 0.611, p = 0.01). It may be concluded that melatonin may be involved in the modulation of reproductive neuroendocrine axis in male infertility. Also, low levels of melatonin in semen were observed in infertile groups having reduced sperm motility, leucocytospermia, varicocele and NOA.

  16. Dietary factors and fluctuating levels of melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Peuhkuri, Katri; Sihvola, Nora; Korpela, Riitta

    2012-01-01

    Melatonin is secreted principally by the pineal gland and mainly at nighttime. The primary physiological function is to convey information of the daily cycle of light and darkness to the body. In addition, it may have other health-related functions. Melatonin is synthesized from tryptophan, an essential dietary amino acid. It has been demonstrated that some nutritional factors, such as intake of vegetables, caffeine, and some vitamins and minerals, could modify melatonin production but with less intensity than light, the most dominant synchronizer of melatonin production. This review will focus on the nutritional factors apart from the intake of tryptophan that affect melatonin levels in humans. Overall, foods containing melatonin or promoting the synthesis of it by impacting the availability of tryptophan, as well those containing vitamins and minerals which are needed as co-factors and activators in the synthesis of melatonin, may modulate the levels of melatonin. Even so, the influence of daytime diet on the synthesis of nocturnal melatonin is limited, however, the influence of the diet seems to be more obvious on the daytime levels. PMID:22826693

  17. Dietary factors and fluctuating levels of melatonin.

    PubMed

    Peuhkuri, Katri; Sihvola, Nora; Korpela, Riitta

    2012-01-01

    Melatonin is secreted principally by the pineal gland and mainly at nighttime. The primary physiological function is to convey information of the daily cycle of light and darkness to the body. In addition, it may have other health-related functions. Melatonin is synthesized from tryptophan, an essential dietary amino acid. It has been demonstrated that some nutritional factors, such as intake of vegetables, caffeine, and some vitamins and minerals, could modify melatonin production but with less intensity than light, the most dominant synchronizer of melatonin production. This review will focus on the nutritional factors apart from the intake of tryptophan that affect melatonin levels in humans. Overall, foods containing melatonin or promoting the synthesis of it by impacting the availability of tryptophan, as well those containing vitamins and minerals which are needed as co-factors and activators in the synthesis of melatonin, may modulate the levels of melatonin. Even so, the influence of daytime diet on the synthesis of nocturnal melatonin is limited, however, the influence of the diet seems to be more obvious on the daytime levels.

  18. Pharmacology and function of melatonin receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Dubocovich, M.L.

    1988-09-01

    The hormone melatonin is secreted primarily from the pineal gland, with highest levels occurring during the dark period of a circadian cycle. This hormone, through an action in the brain, appears to be involved in the regulation of various neural and endocrine processes that are cued by the daily change in photoperiod. This article reviews the pharmacological characteristics and function of melatonin receptors in the central nervous system, and the role of melatonin in mediating physiological functions in mammals. Melatonin and melatonin agonists, at picomolar concentrations, inhibit the release of dopamine from retina through activation of a site that is pharmacologically different from a serotonin receptor. These inhibitory effects are antagonized by the novel melatonin receptor antagonist luzindole (N-0774), which suggests that melatonin activates a presynaptic melatonin receptor. In chicken and rabbit retina, the pharmacological characteristics of the presynaptic melatonin receptor and the site labeled by 2-(125I)iodomelatonin are identical. It is proposed that 2-(125I)iodomelatonin binding sites (e.g., chicken brain) that possess the pharmacological characteristics of the retinal melatonin receptor site (order of affinities: 2-iodomelatonin greater than 6-chloromelatonin greater than or equal to melatonin greater than or equal to 6,7-di-chloro-2-methylmelatonin greater than 6-hydroxymelatonin greater than or equal to 6-methoxymelatonin greater than N-acetyltryptamine greater than or equal to luzindole greater than N-acetyl-5-hydroxytryptamine greater than 5-methoxytryptamine much greater than 5-hydroxytryptamine) be classified as ML-1 (melatonin 1). The 2-(125I)iodomelatonin binding site of hamster brain membranes possesses different binding and pharmacological characteristics from the retinal melatonin receptor site and should be classified as ML-2. 64 references.

  19. 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.

  20. The Syrian Hamster Pineal Gland Responds to Isoproterenol in Vivo at Night

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-01-01

    pineal melatonin content in Results were analyzed by t tests with the uninjected animals (exp. 2) was typical for Bonferroni correction for multiplicity of... Coggins for technical assistance and Dr. Mark Rollag for melatonin antibody. 12. Lipton JS, Petterborg LJ, Reiter RJ 1981 Influence of propranolol...Axelrod J 1973 Superinduc- glands. Neuroendocrinology 38:193 tion of serotonin N-acetyltransferase 14. Vaughan GM, Lasko J, Coggins SH, and

  1. 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.

  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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Melatonin and aging: prospects for human treatment.

    PubMed

    Bubenik, G A; Konturek, S J

    2011-02-01

    Human life span, with or without modern medicine is around 85-95 years. All living creatures have their inner clock that measures their daily (circadian) and their seasonal (circannual) time. These time changes are mediated by the alteration of levels of melatonin, an evolutionary ancient hormone, which is produced in many body tissues, including the pineal gland, retina and the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Light is blocking the production of melatonin in the pineal gland, darkness is stimulating it. So, the diurnal changes of light intensity of melatonin, provide a "daily clock" and the seasonal changes provide a "seasonal clock". Finally, the reduction of melatonin observed with aging, may indicate the presence of an "age clock". Melatonin is a strong antioxidant (often it is called scavenger of free radicals), which protects the body from the effects of noxious compounds. Therefore it was hypothesized that the reduction of melatonin levels with age contributes to the aging process. So far, the only remedy to extend the life span was a 40% reduction in caloric intake, which prolonged the life in mice, rats, dogs and monkeys by 30-50%. A large group of people imitate these experiments performed on animals, but the results of these experiments will not be known for several decades. How is being hungry prolonging the life span? There is a connection between caloric reduction and melatonin levels in GIT. Several experiments indicate that fasting in animals substantially increased their production of GIT melatonin. Therefore, instead of being permanently hungry, a prolongation of human life could be achieved by a replacement melatonin therapy. A daily intake of melatonin before bed time might achieve the same effect as fasting e.g. an increase of body melatonin levels, which will protect the individual from the ravages of old age. That includes Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. There is a large group of people taking melatonin daily who believe that

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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.

  10. Mood Disorders, Circadian Rhythms, Melatonin and Melatonin Agonists

    PubMed Central

    Quera Salva, M.A.; Hartley, S.

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in the understanding of circadian rhythms have led to an interest in the treatment of major depressive disorder with chronobiotic agents. Many tissues have autonomous circadian rhythms, which are orchestrated by the master clock, situated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SNC). Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-hydroxytryptamine) is secreted from the pineal gland during darkness. Melatonin acts mainly on MT1 and MT2 receptors, which are present in the SNC, regulating physiological and neuroendocrine functions, including circadian entrainment, referred to as the chronobiotic effet. Circadian rhythms has been shown to be either misaligned or phase shifted or decreased in amplitude in both acute episodes and relapse of major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder. Manipulation of circadian rhythms either using physical treatments (such as high intensity light) or behavioral therapy has shown promise in improving symptoms. Pharmacotherapy using melatonin and pure melatonin receptor agonists, while improving sleep, has not been shown to improve symptoms of depression. A novel antidepressant, agomelatine, combines 5HT2c antagonist and melatonin agonist action, and has shown promise in both acute treatment of MDD and in preventing relapse. PMID:23650464

  11. Therapeutic uses of melatonin and melatonin derivatives: a patent review (2012 - 2014).

    PubMed

    Rivara, Silvia; Pala, Daniele; Bedini, Annalida; Spadoni, Gilberto

    2015-04-01

    Melatonin is a neurohormone involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms, with potent antioxidant activity. It has a wide functional repertoire, with effects almost on all tissues and organs. It is mainly used as a dietary supplement for sleep regulation and re-synchronization of disrupted circadian rhythms. Melatonin has very low toxicity, but some pharmacokinetic issues, such as limited oral bioavailability and short half-life, limit its tissue availability. Patents and patent applications from 2012 to September 2014 in which melatonin or synthetic analogues are claimed for the prevention or treatment of pathological conditions. Melatonin is considered a valuable substance that can be safely administered for the prevention and treatment of many diverse diseases. A major trend in 2012 - 2014 patents is the co-administration of melatonin with other drugs to increase the efficacy of the treatment and reduce side-effects. Two different actions have been combined in hybrid ligands (e.g., melatonin-tamoxifen and melatonin-tacrine derivatives). Further experimental evidence is needed to support the usefulness of these approaches. The number of new melatonin analogues has shown a marked decrease in the past 3 years, with claimed applications mainly as hypnotic or antioxidant agents.

  12. Melatonin: media hype or therapeutic breakthrough?

    PubMed

    Kendler, B S

    1997-02-01

    Currently available as a dietary supplement, the pineal hormone melatonin is portrayed by the media as a formidable weapon against disease and aging. Accordingly, primary health care providers should be cognizant of which of its proposed uses are supported by biomedical research and which are, as yet, unproven. Melatonin entrains circadian rhythms and, thus, can treat jet lag, delayed sleep phase syndrome, and sleep disorders in the blind and in some neurologically impaired children. By virtue of its hypnotic effect, melatonin can mitigate insomnia in the elderly. Reductions in melatonin secretion have been associated with many disorders, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, SIDS, and aging; however, melatonin's role in their etiology and/or pathophysiology is unproven. Preliminary studies suggest a possible adjuvant therapeutic role for melatonin in cancer therapy. Melatonin secretion is reduced by alcohol, caffeine, and some commonly prescribed drugs. Since tolerance, fatigue, and other side effects have been reported, melatonin use on consecutive nights should be avoided and only the lowest effective hypnotic dose should be taken.

  13. Morphology of pineal glands in human foetuses and infants with brain lesions.

    PubMed

    Laure-Kamionowska, Milena; Maślińska, Danuta; Deregowski, Krzysztof; Czichos, Elzbieta; Raczkowska, Barbara

    2003-01-01

    The pineal gland is an organ involved in regulation of homeostasis and body rhythms. It plays an important role in the growth foetuses and adaptation of newborns to new environmental conditions. The requirements of foetuses and newborns progressively change during development. The purpose of the study was to evaluate morphological changes of pineal glands in foetuses and infants with brain lesions. The results of our study showed that parenchyma of developing pineal glands was susceptible to injury in most autopsied foetal and infantile cases. Morphological changes in pineal glands were found in 90% of autopsied brains but 100% of the cases had infections. The lesions in the pineal included mainly haemorrhagic, necrotic and cystic changes. In our autopsied foetuses and children, morphological changes in pineal glands were concomitant with various lesions of brain parenchyma. All results of our study lead to the conclusion that the pineal gland during its development is very susceptible to injury. The failure of normal pineal gland development and subsequent impaired production of melatonin decrease resistance of newborns and children to various environmental harmful agents.

  14. Homeobox genes in the rodent pineal gland: roles in development and phenotype maintenance.

    PubMed

    Rath, Martin F; Rohde, Kristian; Klein, David C; Møller, Morten

    2013-06-01

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine gland responsible for nocturnal synthesis of melatonin. During early development of the rodent pineal gland from the roof of the diencephalon, homeobox genes of the orthodenticle homeobox (Otx)- and paired box (Pax)-families are expressed and are essential for normal pineal development consistent with the well-established role that homeobox genes play in developmental processes. However, the pineal gland appears to be unusual because strong homeobox gene expression persists in the pineal gland of the adult brain. Accordingly, in addition to developmental functions, homeobox genes appear to be key regulators in postnatal phenotype maintenance in this tissue. In this paper, we review ontogenetic and phylogenetic aspects of pineal development and recent progress in understanding the involvement of homebox genes in rodent pineal development and adult function. A working model is proposed for understanding the sequential action of homeobox genes in controlling development and mature circadian function of the mammalian pinealocyte based on knowledge from detailed developmental and daily gene expression analyses in rats, the pineal phenotypes of homebox gene-deficient mice and studies on development of the retinal photoreceptor; the pinealocyte and retinal photoreceptor share features not seen in other tissues and are likely to have evolved from the same ancestral photodetector cell.

  15. 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.

  16. Pineal parenchymal tumours and pineal cysts.

    PubMed

    Jouvet, A; Vasiljevic, A; Champier, J; Fèvre Montange, M

    2015-01-01

    Pineal parenchymal tumours (PPTs) and pineal cysts represent one third of the pineal region lesions. PPTs are subdivided into pineocytoma (PC), pineoblastoma (PB) and PPT with intermediate differentiation (PPTID). We report morphological and immunochemical features which permit to grade these tumours. The description of histopathological features and grading is based on a large cooperative series and on the WHO 2007 classification. PCs occur in adults between the third and the sixth decade of life. PBs typically occur in children. PPTIDs have a peak incidence in young adults between 20 and 40 years of age. There is no sex preference. PC is characterized by a uniform cell proliferation with large fibrillary pineocytomatous rosettes. PB is a high-density tumour composed of small blue cells with hyper-chromatic, round or carrot shaped nuclei. PPTIDs have lobulated or diffuse patterns. Grading is based on morphological features, count of mitoses and neurofilament protein (NFP) expression. PCs (grade I) have no mitosis and NFP is highly expressed in pineocytomatous rosettes. PBs (grade IV) are high mitotic tumours and present low or no expression of NFPs. PPTIDs are grade II when mitoses are fewer than 6 for 10 high-power fields and NFPs are expressed, and are grade III when mitoses are greater or equal to 6 or are fewer than 6 with NFPs lowly expressed. Pineal cysts may be differentiated from PPTs by the high expression of NFPs and no expression of Ki-67. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  17. 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

  18. Melatonin: a "Higgs boson" in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Dragojevic Dikic, Svetlana; Jovanovic, Ana Mitrovic; Dikic, Srdjan; Jovanovic, Tomislav; Jurisic, Aleksandar; Dobrosavljevic, Aleksandar

    2015-02-01

    As the Higgs boson could be a key to unlocking mysteries regarding our Universe, melatonin, a somewhat mysterious substance secreted by the pineal gland primarily at night, might be a crucial factor in regulating numerous processes in human reproduction. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant which has an essential role in controlling several physiological reactions, as well as biological rhythms throughout human reproductive life. Melatonin, which is referred to as a hormone, but also as an autocoid, a chronobiotic, a hypnotic, an immunomodulator and a biological modifier, plays a crucial part in establishing homeostatic, neurohumoral balance and circadian rhythm in the body through synergic actions with other hormones and neuropeptides. This paper aims to analyze the effects of melatonin on the reproductive function, as well as to shed light on immunological and oncostatic properties of one of the most powerful hormones.

  19. The pineal gland as a central regulator of cytokine network.

    PubMed

    Lissoni, Paolo

    1999-01-01

    Even though cytokines may fundamentally act as local factors, the recent advances in the knowledge of neuroimmunomodulation (NIM) would suggest the existence of a central regulation of their secretion and activity. Several neuroactive substances have appeared to influence cytokine secretion, and on the other hand cytokines may modulate the neuroendocrine functions. However, at present only for the pineal gland, whose fundamental NIM role is well known, it is possible to recognize reciprocal influences between cytokine action and pineal endocrine activity, suggesting the existence of feedback mechanisms responsible for a central regulation of cytokine network. Melatonin (MLT), which is the most investigated pineal immunomodulating hormone, may stimulate IL-2 release by T helper-1 (TH-1) lymphocytes and that of IL-12 by dendritic cells (DC), whereas both IL-2 and IL-12 would inhibit MLT release. The physiological significance of IL-2-IL-12-MLT interactions would be the maintenance of an effective TH-1-dependent cellular immunity, including the anticancer immune response. A third possible pineal-cytokine feedback mechanism involves tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) secretion, with a stimulatory effect of TNF-alpha on MLT release and an inhibitory one of MLT on TNF-alpha production. This finding would explain the anti-cachectic property of MLT itself. A further knowledge of pineal-cytokine interactions, as well as of other endocrine-immune circuits, will allow a better definition of the physiopathology of human chronic immunoinflammatory diseases, whose clinical course has appeared to be influenced by psychoemotional factors.

  20. Melatonin and human mitochondrial diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sharafati-Chaleshtori, Reza; Shirzad, Hedayatollah; Rafieian-Kopaei, Mahmoud; Soltani, Amin

    2017-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the main causative factors in a wide variety of complications such as neurodegenerative disorders, ischemia/reperfusion, aging process, and septic shock. Decrease in respiratory complex activity, increase in free radical production, increase in mitochondrial synthase activity, increase in nitric oxide production, and impair in electron transport system and/or mitochondrial permeability are considered as the main factors responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction. Melatonin, the pineal gland hormone, is selectively taken up by mitochondria and acts as a powerful antioxidant, regulating the mitochondrial bioenergetic function. Melatonin increases the permeability of membranes and is the stimulator of antioxidant enzymes including superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and catalase. It also acts as an inhibitor of lipoxygenase. Melatonin can cause resistance to oxidation damage by fixing the microsomal membranes. Melatonin has been shown to retard aging and inhibit neurodegenerative disorders, ischemia/reperfusion, septic shock, diabetes, cancer, and other complications related to oxidative stress. The purpose of the current study, other than introducing melatonin, was to present the recent findings on clinical effects in diseases related to mitochondrial dysfunction including diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, and diseases related to brain function. PMID:28400824

  1. Agomelatine, melatonin and depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Norman, Trevor R

    2013-04-01

    Alteration of nocturnal melatonin production, along with circadian rhythm disturbance, has been demonstrated in several psychiatric disorders. It has been postulated that such disturbances might be causal reflecting a more fundamental abnormality of the function of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN contains the body's master 'clock' while the pineal-SCN nexus is intricate to the nighttime production of melatonin. The more compelling case for causality is made for major depressive disorder (MDD). Lending weight to this proposition is the introduction of agomelatine as an antidepressant agent. Through its actions on melatonin receptors agomelatine can resynchronise circadian rhythms. The circadian hypothesis would posit that normalisation of disturbance would be sufficient of itself to alleviate the symptoms of MDD. Thus, strategies designed to bring about resynchronisation of circadian rhythms should be therapeutically effective in depression. Critical examination of the efficacy of such interventions in MDD suggests that the circadian alteration may be necessary but is not sufficient for an antidepressant effect. Exogenous melatonin administration and bright light therapy have mixed results in limited controlled clinical evaluations. Furthermore, agomelatine has other actions which pre-clinical studies suggest are as important to its therapeutic effects as are its actions on melatonin receptors ipso facto its resynchronising properties. Whether circadian effects are antidepressant remains a moot point and awaits the clinical evaluation of highly selective resynchronising agents.

  2. Pineal gland volume in primary insomnia and healthy controls: a magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Bumb, Jan M; Schilling, Claudia; Enning, Frank; Haddad, Leila; Paul, Franc; Lederbogen, Florian; Deuschle, Michael; Schredl, Michael; Nolte, Ingo

    2014-06-01

    Little is known about the relation between pineal volume and insomnia. Melatonin promotes sleep processes and, administered as a drug, it is suitable to improve primary and secondary sleep disorders in humans. Recent magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that human plasma and saliva melatonin levels are partially determined by the pineal gland volume. This study compares the pineal volume in a group of patients with primary insomnia to a group of healthy people without sleep disturbance. Pineal gland volume (PGV) was measured on the basis of high-resolution 3 Tesla MRI (T1-magnetization prepared rapid gradient echo) in 23 patients and 27 controls, matched for age, gender and educational status. Volume measurements were performed conventionally by manual delineation of the pineal borders in multi-planar reconstructed images. Pineal gland volume was significantly smaller (P < 0.001) in patients (48.9 ± 26.6 mm(3) ) than in controls (79 ± 30.2 mm(3) ). In patients PGV correlated negatively with age (r = -0.532; P = 0.026). Adjusting for the effect of age, PGV and rapid eye movement (REM) latency showed a significant positive correlation (rS  = 0.711, P < 0.001) in patients. Pineal volume appears to be reduced in patients with primary insomnia compared to healthy controls. Further studies are needed to clarify whether low pineal volume is the basis or the consequence of functional sleep changes to elucidate the molecular pathology for the pineal volume loss in primary insomnia.

  3. The pineal complex in Roman high avoidance and Roman low avoidance rats.

    PubMed

    Seidel, A; Sousa Neto, J A; Huesgen, A; Vollrath, L; Manz, B; Gentsch, C; Lichtsteiner, M

    1990-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the pineal gland of Roman high avoidance (RHA/Verh) rats is larger than that of Roman low avoidance rats (RLA/Verh). In the present study measurement of enzyme activities (serotonin-N-acetyl-transferase, hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase) revealed that pineals of RHA/Verh rats are twice as active in melatonin production than pineals of RLA/Verh rats. Indoleamine content was also higher in RHA/Verh rats, whereas noradrenaline content was the same in both lines. When values were expressed per mg protein, these differences disappeared except for N-acetyl-serotonin and noradrenaline which were higher or lower in RHA/Verh rats, respectively. Both lines had higher serum levels of melatonin during the dark phase than during the light phase. However, RHA/Verh rats had increased serum levels as compared to RLA/Verh rats during both day and night. Morphometric analysis of the deep and superficial part of the pineal complex revealed, that the volumes of both parts are enlarged in RHA/Verh rats. Electron microscopic studies of pineals collected during day- and nighttime showed higher numbers of synaptic ribbons per unit area in pineals of RHA/Verh rats. In pineals collected during June synaptic ribbons displayed a day/night rhythm in RHA/Verh rats only, whereas in glands of both lines collected during November no daily changes were found. These results show that closely related but divergently selected rat lines may differ in pineal ultrastructure and pineal function.

  4. 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.

  5. Pineal calcification is associated with symptomatic cerebral infarction.

    PubMed

    Kitkhuandee, Amnat; Sawanyawisuth, Kittisak; Johns, Nutjaree Pratheepawanit; Kanpittaya, Jaturat; Johns, Jeffrey

    2014-02-01

    Pineal calcification and low melatonin have been shown to be risk factors for stroke in animal studies; however, there are limited clinical data on the association of pineal calcification and stroke in humans. All computed tomographic (CT) scans of the brains of patients >15 years of age during the year 2011 at a university teaching hospital were retrospectively reviewed. Patient medical charts were used to obtain the risk factors for stroke, including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, age, and sex. Cerebral infarction was identified by having clinical syndromes of stroke and a positive CT scan. Patients with embolic or hemorrhagic stroke were excluded. Pineal calcification was evidenced by the CT scans. The association of various stroke risk factors and cerebral infarction were calculated using logistic regression analysis. A total of 1614 patients were included, and symptomatic cerebral infarction was identified in 620 patients (38.4%). Regarding stroke risk factors in symptomatic cerebral infarction patients, the majority of patients were male (356 [57.4%]), >50 years of age (525 [84.7%]), and had hypertension (361 [58.2%]); some had diabetes (199 [32.1%]) and dyslipidemia (174 [28.1%]). Pineal calcification was found in 1081 patients (67.0%), with a male:female ratio of 1.5:1. Significant factors related to cerebral infarction by univariate logistic regression were age >50 years, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and pineal calcification. Pineal calcification as a risk factor for cerebral infarction had an adjusted odds ratio of 1.35 (95% confidence interval 1.05-1.72). Pineal calcification may be a potential new contributor to cerebral infarction. Copyright © 2014 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Daytime pineal gland activation in rats with colon tumors induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine(3).

    PubMed

    Sibarov, Dmitrii A.; Kovalenko, Rimma I.; Anisimov, Vladimir N.; Nozdrachev, Alexander D.

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Intact rats and rats with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine induced tumors of large intestine were used in experiments. Previously, blood melatonin concentration in these tumor-bearing rats was shown to increase at night, but not in the daytime. METHODS: The extracellular microelectrode registration of rat daytime pineal gland activity was performed. RESULTS: The existence of different types of pinealocytes in the pineal gland was confirmed. Tumor-bearing rats, in comparison to intact, demonstrated higher spike frequency due to cells switching from regular to pattern (4-6 times gain) activity and appearance of "fast" cells (>5Hz frequency). CONSLUSIONS: The literature about pinealocytes points to the correlation between electrical and secretory processes in pinealocytes; thus we suppose the groups of interacting cells, detected in tumor-bearing rats, to reflect cascade cells activation while pineal gland secretion increases. The results indicate, that in the daytime pinealocytes are secreting substances (not melatonin) in dependence with hormonal background.

  7. The Angiotensin-melatonin axis.

    PubMed

    Campos, Luciana A; Cipolla-Neto, Jose; Amaral, Fernanda G; Michelini, Lisete C; Bader, Michael; Baltatu, Ovidiu C

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that various biological and neuroendocrine circadian rhythms may be disrupted in cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. These circadian alterations may contribute to the progression of disease. Our studies direct to an important role of angiotensin II and melatonin in the modulation of circadian rhythms. The brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may modulate melatonin synthesis, a hormone with well-established roles in regulating circadian rhythms. Angiotensin production in the central nervous system may not only influence hypertension but also appears to affect the circadian rhythm of blood pressure. Drugs acting on RAS have been proven effective in the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders including hypertension and diabetes mellitus (DM). On the other hand, since melatonin is capable of ameliorating metabolic abnormalities in DM and insulin resistance, the beneficial effects of RAS blockade could be improved through combined RAS blocker and melatonin therapy. Contemporary research is evidencing the existence of specific clock genes forming central and peripheral clocks governing circadian rhythms. Further research on the interaction between these two neurohormones and the clock genes governing circadian clocks may progress our understanding on the pathophysiology of disease with possible impact on chronotherapeutic strategies.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Melatonin improves experimental colitis with sleep deprivation.

    PubMed

    Park, Young-Sook; Chung, Sook-Hee; Lee, Seong-Kyu; Kim, Ja-Hyun; Kim, Jun-Bong; Kim, Tae-Kyun; Kim, Dong-Shin; Baik, Haing-Woon

    2015-04-01

    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

  11. Melatonin transport into mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Mayo, Juan C; Sainz, Rosa M; González-Menéndez, Pedro; Hevia, David; Cernuda-Cernuda, Rafael

    2017-08-21

    Melatonin is a well-known, nighttime-produced indole found in bacteria, eukaryotic unicellulars, animals or vascular plants. In vertebrates, melatonin is the major product of the pineal gland, which accounts for its increase in serum during the dark phase, but it is also produced by many other organs and cell types. Such a wide distribution is consistent with its multiple and well-described functions which include from the circadian regulation and adaptation to seasonal variations to immunomodulatory and oncostatic actions in different types of tumors. The discovery of its antioxidant properties in the early 1990s opened a new field of potential protective functions in multiple tissues. A special mention should be made regarding the nervous system, where the indole is considered a major neuroprotector. Furthermore, mitochondria appear as one of the most important targets for the indole's protective actions. Melatonin's mechanisms of action vary from the direct molecular interaction with free radicals (free radical scavenger) to the binding to membrane (MLT1A and MLT1B) or nuclear receptors (RZR/RORα). Receptor binding has been associated with some, but not all of the indole functions reported to date. Recently, two new mechanisms of cellular uptake involving the facilitative glucose transporters GLUT/SLC2A and the proton-driven oligopeptide transporter PEPT1/2 have been reported. Here we discuss the potential importance that these newly discovered transport systems could have in determining the actions of melatonin, particularly in the mitochondria. We also argue the relative importance of passive diffusion vs active transport in different parts of the cell.

  12. 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

  13. The in vitro maintenance of clock genes expression within the rat pineal gland under standard and norepinephrine-synchronized stimulation.

    PubMed

    Andrade-Silva, Jéssica; Cipolla-Neto, José; Peliciari-Garcia, Rodrigo A

    2014-01-01

    Although the norepinephrine (NE) synchronization protocol was proved to be an important procedure for further modulating in vitro pineal melatonin synthesis, the maintenance of clock genes under the same conditions remained to be investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the maintenance of the clock genes expression in pineal gland cultures under standard and NE-synchronized stimulation. The glands were separated into three experimental groups: Control, Standard (acute NE-stimulation), and NE-synchronized. The expression of Bmal1, Per2, Cry2, Rev-erbα, the clock controlled gene Dbp and Arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase were investigated, as well as melatonin content. No oscillations were observed in the expression of the investigated genes from the control group. Under Standard NE stimulation, the clock genes did not exhibit a rhythmic pattern of expression. However, in the NE-synchronized condition, a rhythmic expression pattern was observed in all cases. An enhancement in pineal gland responsiveness to NE stimulation, reflected in an advanced synthesis of melatonin was also observed. Our results reinforce our previous hypothesis that NE synchronization of pineal gland culture mimics the natural rhythmic release of NE in the gland, increasing melatonin synthesis and keeping the pineal circadian clock synchronized, ensuring the fine adjustments that are relied in the clockwork machinery.

  14. Altered melatonin secretion in hypogonadal men: clinical evidence.

    PubMed

    Kumanov, Philip; Tomova, Analia; Isidori, Aldo; Nordio, Maurizio

    2005-08-01

    The pineal gland, through the rhythmic production of melatonin, seems to play an important role in the control of the reproductive function of many vertebrate species. In contrast, the effects of the pineal gland in humans and the relationship between gonadotropins and melatonin secretion are not yet clarified. On the basis of these considerations, the aim of the present study was to clarify whether melatonin serum concentrations were altered in males with different hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal disturbances, in comparison to normal individuals. We have studied 36 individuals divided into three groups according to their gonadotropin status: normals, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. They were submitted to blood sample withdrawal at 03.00, 11.00 and 19.00 h for melatonin determination according to a radioimmunological method, without extraction of the sample. The results obtained in the present study suggest the existence of an interaction between the pituitary and the pineal gland. In fact, in the case of hypersecretion of gonadotropins, nocturnal melatonin release is reduced, while night melatonin secretion is increased in the opposite situation (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism). Both these endocrine pathologies are characterized by a reduced sexual steroid secretion; for that reason, this reduction cannot be regarded as responsible for the two opposite dysfunctions of melatonin release. In conclusion, our study shows that darkness-dependent release of melatonin in males with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism is significantly higher in comparison with the healthy men, while it is significantly reduced in patients with hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. A strong significant negative correlation is also found between gonadotropins and melatonin release.

  15. Methionine adenosyltransferase:adrenergic-cAMP mechanism regulates a daily rhythm in pineal expression.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong-So; Coon, Steven L; Blackshaw, Seth; Cepko, Constance L; Møller, Morten; Mukda, Sujira; Zhao, Wan-Qian; Charlton, Clivel G; Klein, David C

    2005-01-07

    (S)-adenosylmethionine (SAM) is a critical element of melatonin synthesis as the methyl donor in the last step of the pathway, the O-methylation of N-acetyl 5-hydroxytryptamine by hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase. The activity of the enzyme that synthesizes SAM, methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT), increases 2.5-fold at night in the pineal gland. In this study, we found that pineal MAT2A mRNA and the protein it encodes, MAT II, also increase at night, suggesting that the increase in MAT activity is caused by an increase in MAT II gene products. The night levels of MAT2A mRNA in the pineal gland were severalfold higher than in other neural and non-neural tissues examined, consistent with the requirement for SAM in melatonin synthesis. Related studies indicate that the nocturnal increase in MAT2A mRNA is caused by activation of a well described neural pathway that mediates photoneural-circadian regulation of the pineal gland. MAT2A mRNA and MAT II protein were increased in organ culture by treatment with norepinephrine (NE), the sympathetic neurotransmitter that stimulates the pineal gland at night. NE is known to markedly elevate pineal cAMP, and here it was found that cAMP agonists elevate MAT2A mRNA levels by increasing MAT2A mRNA synthesis and that drugs that block cAMP activation of cAMP dependent protein kinase block effects of NE. Therefore, the NE-cAMP dependent increase in pineal MAT activity seems to reflect an increase in MAT II protein, which occurs in response to cAMP-->protein kinase-dependent increased MAT2A expression. The existence of this MAT regulatory system underscores the importance that MAT plays in melatonin biogenesis. These studies also point to the possibility that SAM production in other tissues might be regulated through cAMP.

  16. A modulatory role of the Rax homeobox gene in mature pineal gland function: Investigating the photoneuroendocrine circadian system of a Rax conditional knockout mouse.

    PubMed

    Rohde, Kristian; Bering, Tenna; Furukawa, Takahisa; Rath, Martin Fredensborg

    2017-10-01

    The retinal and anterior neural fold homeobox gene (Rax) controls development of the eye and the forebrain. Postnatal expression of Rax in the brain is restricted to the pineal gland, a forebrain structure devoted to melatonin synthesis. The role of Rax in pineal function is unknown. In order to investigate the role of Rax in pineal function while circumventing forebrain abnormalities of the global Rax knockout, we generated an eye and pineal-specific Rax conditional knockout mouse. Deletion of Rax in the pineal gland did not affect morphology of the gland, suggesting that Rax is not essential for pineal gland development. In contrast, deletion of Rax in the eye generated an anophthalmic phenotype. In addition to the loss of central visual pathways, the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus housing the circadian clock was absent, indicating that the retinohypothalamic tract is required for the nucleus to develop. Telemetric analyses confirmed the lack of a functional circadian clock. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (Aanat) transcripts, encoding the melatonin rhythm-generating enzyme, were undetectable in the pineal gland of the Rax conditional knockout under normal conditions, whereas the paired box 6 homeobox gene, known to regulate pineal development, was up-regulated. By injecting isoproterenol, which mimics a nocturnal situation in the pineal gland, we were able to induce pineal expression of Aanat in the Rax conditional knockout mouse, but Aanat transcript levels were significantly lower than those of Rax-proficient mice. Our data suggest that Rax controls pineal gene expression and via Aanat may modulate melatonin synthesis. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  17. Daily Aa-nat gene expression in the camel (Camelus dromedarius) pineal gland.

    PubMed

    El Allali, Khalid; Sinitskaya, Natalia; Bothorel, Béatrice; Achaaban, Rachid; Pévet, Paul; Simonneaux, Valérie

    2008-09-01

    Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) is the rhythm-generating enzyme for the synthesis of pineal melatonin. Molecular investigations have revealed two biological models for the activation of AA-NAT. In rodent species, Aa-nat gene transcription is turned off during the daytime and markedly activated at night. In primates, sheep, and cows, the Aa-nat gene is constitutively transcripted with no visible daily variations. This inter-species difference in Aa-nat gene regulation leads to different daily profiles in melatonin synthesis and release. Thus, the nighttime onset of the rise in circulating melatonin is delayed and slow in rodents, whereas it is fast and sharp in sheep. In the camel (Camelus dromedarius), we have observed that circulating melatonin rises immediately after sunset, suggesting AA-NAT activity is regulated at the post-transcriptional level. In agreement with this hypothesis, we report herein the amount of Aa-nat mRNA in the camel pineal gland is high, during both the day and night with no daily variations, while melatonin concentration in the same pineal tissue is five times higher during the night than daytime.

  18. 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

  19. Melatonin and the circadian system: contributions to successful female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Russel J; Tamura, Hiroshi; Tan, Dun Xian; Xu, Xiao-Ying

    2014-08-01

    To summarize the role of melatonin and circadian rhythms in determining optimal female reproductive physiology, especially at the peripheral level. Databases were searched for the related English-language literature published up to March 1, 2014. Only papers in peer-reviewed journals are cited. Not applicable. Not applicable. Melatonin treatment, alterations of the normal light:dark cycle and light exposure at night. Melatonin levels in the blood and in the ovarian follicular fluid and melatonin synthesis, oxidative damage and circadian rhythm disturbances in peripheral reproductive organs. The central circadian regulatory system is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The output of this master clock is synchronized to 24 hours by the prevailing light-dark cycle. The SCN regulates rhythms in peripheral cells via the autonomic nervous system and it sends a neural message to the pineal gland where it controls the cyclic production of melatonin; after its release, the melatonin rhythm strengthens peripheral oscillators. Melatonin is also produced in the peripheral reproductive organs, including granulosa cells, the cumulus oophorus, and the oocyte. These cells, along with the blood, may contribute melatonin to the follicular fluid, which has melatonin levels higher than those in the blood. Melatonin is a powerful free radical scavenger and protects the oocyte from oxidative stress, especially at the time of ovulation. The cyclic levels of melatonin in the blood pass through the placenta and aid in the organization of the fetal SCN. In the absence of this synchronizing effect, the offspring may exhibit neurobehavioral deficits. Also, melatonin protects the developing fetus from oxidative stress. Melatonin produced in the placenta likewise may preserve the optimal function of this organ. Both stable circadian rhythms and cyclic melatonin availability are critical for optimal ovarian physiology and placental function. Because light exposure after darkness onset

  20. Seasonal variations of in vivo and in vitro melatonin production in a passeriform bird, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed

    Brandstätter, R; Kumar, V; Van't Hof, T J; Gwinner, E

    2001-09-01

    Melatonin, released from the pineal gland, is an important signal within the circadian pacemaking system of passeriform birds. Until now, seasonal variations in melatonin production have only been examined in a few avian species and the role of melatonin in the regulation of annual rhythms in birds is unclear. We investigated plasma melatonin in a group of house sparrows kept in an outside aviary in spring (March/April), summer (May/June), autumn (September/October), and winter (December/January). The durations of elevated melatonin values mirrored the seasonal changes in night length to a certain degree, the melatonin signal being longest in winter and shortest in summer. Additionally, plasma melatonin peak amplitudes differed significantly among seasons, with highest values in spring and summer and lowest values in winter. Cultured explanted pineal glands obtained from animals in winter and summer showed patterns of in vitro melatonin release comparable to in vivo circulating melatonin with different durations of elevated melatonin and peak amplitude values. These data indicate that the circadian pacemaking system of the house sparrow changes properties seasonally, either as a result of endogenous mechanisms or in response to environmental conditions. These properties are maintained in the pineal gland even after isolation from the animal.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Melatonin deficiency hypothesis in delirium: a synthesis of current evidence.

    PubMed

    de Rooij, Sophia E; van Munster, Barbara C

    2013-08-01

    The pineal hormone melatonin plays a major role in circadian sleep-wake rhythm in many mammals, including humans. Patients with acute confusional state or delirium, especially those with underlying cognitive impairment, frequently suffer from sleep disturbances and disturbed circadian rhythm. In this review, an overview is given of delirium and delirium symptoms that correspond with symptoms in dementia, such as sundowning, followed by a presentation of the circadian rhythm disorders in delirium in relation to melatonin deficiency. Finally, this review examines the therapeutic benefit of melatonin treatment in disorders related to delirium and dementia, including the placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials addressing this topic.

  4. 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.

  5. Cloning and early expression pattern of two melatonin biosynthesis enzymes in the turbot (Scophthalmus maximus).

    PubMed

    Vuilleumier, Robin; Boeuf, Gilles; Fuentes, Michael; Gehring, Walter J; Falcón, Jack

    2007-05-01

    Melatonin biosynthesis from serotonin involves the sequential activation of the arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT). Photoperiod synchronizes a daily rhythm in pineal and retinal melatonin secretion through controlling AANAT activity. Teleost fish possess two Aanat, one expressed in the retina (AANAT1) and the other expressed in the pineal gland (AANAT2). We report here the full-length cloning of Aanat1, Aanat2, SmHiomt and Otx5 (orthodenticle homeobox homolog 5) in the turbot (Scophthalmus maximus, Sm), a flatfish belonging to an evolutionary recent group of Teleost. The temporal expression pattern of the genes investigated is consistent with the idea that OTX5 is needed for photoreceptor specification, and that the pineal gland differentiates before the retina. SmAanat2 expression remained pineal specific during the period of time investigated, whereas SmOtx5 and SmHiomt expressions were seen in both the retina and pineal gland. Our results do not support the existence of a second SmHiomt, as is the case for SmAanat. Neither SmAanat2 nor SmHiomt mRNAs displayed cyclic accumulation in the pineal organ of embryos and larvae maintained under a light-dark cycle from fertilization onward. This is in marked contrast with the situation observed with zebrafish Aanat2, indicating that the molecular mechanisms controlling the development of the pineal melatonin system have been modified during the evolution of Teleost.

  6. Cancer metastasis: Mechanisms of inhibition by melatonin.

    PubMed

    Su, Shih-Chi; Hsieh, Ming-Ju; Yang, Wei-En; Chung, Wen-Hung; Reiter, Russel J; Yang, Shun-Fa

    2017-01-01

    Melatonin is a naturally occurring molecule secreted by the pineal gland and known as a gatekeeper of circadian clocks. Mounting evidence indicates that melatonin, employing multiple and interrelated mechanisms, exhibits a variety of oncostatic properties in a myriad of tumors during different stages of their progression. Tumor metastasis, which commonly occurs at the late stage, is responsible for the majority of cancer deaths; metastases lead to the development of secondary tumors distant from a primary site. In reference to melatonin, the vast majority of investigations have focused on tumor development and progression at the primary site. Recently, however, interest has shifted toward the role of melatonin on tumor metastases. In this review, we highlight current advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which melatonin counteracts tumor metastases, including experimental and clinical observations; emphasis is placed on the impact of both cancer and non-neoplastic cells within the tumor microenvironment. Due to the broad range of melatonin's actions, the mechanisms underlying its ability to interfere with metastases are numerous. These include modulation of cell-cell and cell-matrix interaction, extracellular matrix remodeling by matrix metalloproteinases, cytoskeleton reorganization, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and angiogenesis. The evidence discussed herein will serve as a solid foundation for urging basic and clinical studies on the use of melatonin to understand and control metastatic diseases. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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.

  8. Melatonin influence in ovary transplantation: systematic review.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

    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.

  9. Glia-pinealocyte network: the paracrine modulation of melatonin synthesis by tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

    PubMed

    da Silveira Cruz-Machado, Sanseray; Pinato, Luciana; Tamura, Eduardo Koji; Carvalho-Sousa, Cláudia Emanuele; Markus, Regina P

    2012-01-01

    The pineal gland, a circumventricular organ, plays an integrative role in defense responses. The injury-induced suppression of the pineal gland hormone, melatonin, which is triggered by darkness, allows the mounting of innate immune responses. We have previously shown that cultured pineal glands, which express toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1), produce TNF when challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Here our aim was to evaluate which cells present in the pineal gland, astrocytes, microglia or pinealocytes produced TNF, in order to understand the interaction between pineal activity, melatonin production and immune function. Cultured pineal glands or pinealocytes were stimulated with LPS. TNF content was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. TLR4 and TNFR1 expression were analyzed by confocal microscopy. Microglial morphology was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. In the present study, we show that although the main cell types of the pineal gland (pinealocytes, astrocytes and microglia) express TLR4, the production of TNF induced by LPS is mediated by microglia. This effect is due to activation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) pathway. In addition, we observed that LPS activates microglia and modulates the expression of TNFR1 in pinealocytes. As TNF has been shown to amplify and prolong inflammatory responses, its production by pineal microglia suggests a glia-pinealocyte network that regulates melatonin output. The current study demonstrates the molecular and cellular basis for understanding how melatonin synthesis is regulated during an innate immune response, thus our results reinforce the role of the pineal gland as sensor of immune status.

  10. 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

  11. Melatonin and pancreatic islets: interrelationships between melatonin, insulin and glucagon.

    PubMed

    Peschke, Elmar; Bähr, Ina; Mühlbauer, Eckhard

    2013-03-27

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Seasonal and diurnal melatonin production in exercising sled dogs.

    PubMed

    Dunlap, Kriya L; Reynolds, Arleigh J; Tosini, Gianluca; Kerr, Wendell W; Duffy, Lawrence K

    2007-08-01

    Melatonin is a hormone that is released from the pineal gland into the blood stream and is controlled by nerve impulses from the suprachiasmatic nuclei. Melatonin synthesis, which is inhibited by light on the mammalian retina, peaks in plasma concentrations during the night. Though still a subject of intense research, melatonin in mammals is known to effect the reproductive system, thyroid function, and adaptations to seasonal changes. Sled dogs in Fairbanks, Alaska (65 degrees N) can be exposed to anywhere from 21 h of daylight in the summer to 4 h in the winter. While light may be the primary factor influencing melatonin production, we hypothesized that exercise may also affect melatonin production. In the current study, sled dogs were used to study seasonal and diurnal variation in melatonin production. Sled dogs by nature are elite athletes and therefore exercise was a focus in the study. Both exercise and non exercise dogs from 2 distinct latitudes were used. The peak in melatonin production was prolonged in high latitude dogs (65 degrees N), compared with lower latitude dogs (45 degrees N). Dogs at both latitudes show a reduction in peak melatonin levels with exercise, and winter melatonin levels in both locations were higher than the summer. Surprisingly, sled dogs in Alaska had lower melatonin levels than sled dogs in New York.

  14. Circadian melatonin production develops faster in birds than in mammals.

    PubMed

    Zeman, Michal; Herichová, Iveta

    2011-05-15

    The development of circadian rhythmicity of melatonin biosynthesis in the pineal gland starts during embryonic period in birds while it is delayed to the postnatal life in mammals. Daily rhythms of melatonin in isolated pinealocytes and in intact pineal glands under in vivo conditions were demonstrated during the last third of embryonic development in chick embryos, with higher levels during the dark (D) than during the light (L) phase. In addition to the LD cycle, rhythmic temperature changes with the amplitude of 4.5°C can entrain rhythmic melatonin biosynthesis in chick embryos, with higher concentrations found during the low-temperature phase (33.0 vs 37.5°C). Molecular clockwork starts to operate during the embryonic life in birds in line with the early development of melatonin rhythmicity. Expression of per2 and cry genes is rhythmic at least at day 16 and 18, respectively, and the circadian system operates in a mature-like manner soon after hatching. Rhythmic oscillations are detected earlier in the central oscillator (the pineal gland) than in the peripheral structures, reflecting the synchronization of individual cells which is necessary for detection of the rhythm. The early development of the circadian system in birds reflects an absence of rhythmic maternal melatonin which in mammals synchronizes physiological processes of offspring. Developmental consequences of modified development of circadian system for its stability later in development are not known and should be studied.

  15. Melatonin, the circadian multioscillator system and health: the need for detailed analyses of peripheral melatonin signaling.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger; Madrid, Juan Antonio; Tan, Dun-Xian; Reiter, Russel J

    2012-03-01

    Evidence is accumulating regarding the importance of circadian core oscillators, several associated factors, and melatonin signaling in the maintenance of health. Dysfunction of endogenous clocks, melatonin receptor polymorphisms, age- and disease-associated declines of melatonin likely contribute to numerous diseases including cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes type 2, hypertension, and several mood and cognitive disorders. Consequences of gene silencing, overexpression, gene polymorphisms, and deviant expression levels in diseases are summarized. The circadian system is a complex network of central and peripheral oscillators, some of them being relatively independent of the pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Actions of melatonin on peripheral oscillators are poorly understood. Various lines of evidence indicate that these clocks are also influenced or phase-reset by melatonin. This includes phase differences of core oscillator gene expression under impaired melatonin signaling, effects of melatonin and melatonin receptor knockouts on oscillator mRNAs or proteins. Cross-connections between melatonin signaling pathways and oscillator proteins, including associated factors, are discussed in this review. The high complexity of the multioscillator system comprises alternate or parallel oscillators based on orthologs and paralogs of the core components and a high number of associated factors with varying tissue-specific importance, which offers numerous possibilities for interactions with melatonin. It is an aim of this review to stimulate research on melatonin signaling in peripheral tissues. This should not be restricted to primary signal molecules but rather include various secondarily connected pathways and discriminate between direct effects of the pineal indoleamine at the target organ and others mediated by modulation of oscillators.

  16. [Melatonin as a regulator of human sleep and circadian systems].

    PubMed

    Mishima, Kazuo

    2012-07-01

    Melatonin(N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is synthesized from tryptophan and is intensively secreted into the blood only in darkness (nighttime) by the pineal gland. Melatonin is not only the most reliable marker of internal circadian phase but also a potent sleep-promoting and circadian phase regulatory agent in humans. There is evidence that daytime administered melatonin is able to exhibit short-acting hypnagogic effect and phase-shifting of the circadian rhythms such that sleep timing and associated various physiological functions realign at a new desired phase. Under favor of these properties, melatonin and melatonin receptor agonists have been shown to be potent therapeutic agents for the treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders and some type of insomnia.

  17. [Melatonin effects on the female genital system: a brief review].

    PubMed

    Maganhin, Carla C; Carbonel, Adriana Aparecida Ferraz; Hatty, Juliana Halley; Fuchs, Luiz Fernando Portugal; Oliveira-Júnior, Itamar Souza de; Simões, Manuel de Jesus; Simões, Ricardo S; Baracat, Edmund C; Soares-Jr, José Maria

    2008-01-01

    Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland and this is linked to the day/night cycle. It is an antioxidant and plays a fundamental role in the regulation of the jet-lag stage, in several physiological reactions and in control of the biologic rhythm. Human melatonin has an important influence on the female genital system. In fact, melatonin may influence production and action of steroids, modifying cellular signalization on the target tissue. There are many evidences that the melatonin therapy may be interfering with neoplasia development, mainly of the estrogen-dependent tumor. This paper aims to analyze the actions of melatonin on the neuroendocrine, immunological and cardiovascular systems, as well as on the reproductive function.

  18. Melatonin synthesis enzymes in Macaca mulatta: focus on arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (EC 2.3.1.87).

    PubMed

    Coon, Steven L; Del Olmo, Elena; Young, W Scott; Klein, David C

    2002-10-01

    Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT; serotonin N-acetyltransferase, EC 2.3.1.87) plays a unique transduction role in vertebrate physiology as the key interface between melatonin production and regulatory mechanisms. Circulating melatonin is elevated at night in all vertebrates, because AANAT activity increases in the pineal gland in response to signals from the circadian clock. Circadian regulation of melatonin synthesis is implicated in a variety of human problems, including jet lag, shift work, insomnia, and abnormal activity rhythms in blind persons. In this report AANAT was studied in the rhesus macaque to better understand human melatonin regulation. AANAT mRNA is abundant in the pineal gland and retina, but not elsewhere; AANAT mRNA is uniformly distributed in the pineal gland, but is limited primarily to the photoreceptor outer segments in the retina. Day and night levels of pineal and retinal AANAT mRNA are similar. In contrast, AANAT activity and protein increase more than 4-fold at night in both tissues. The activity of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase, the last enzyme in melatonin synthesis, is tonically high in the pineal gland, but is nearly undetectable in the retina; hydroxyindole O-methyltransferase mRNA levels exhibited a similar pattern. This supports the view that the source of circulating melatonin in primates is the pineal gland. The discovery in this study that rhesus pineal AANAT mRNA is high at all times is of special importance because it shows that posttranscriptional control of this enzyme plays a dominant role in regulating melatonin synthesis.

  19. Proteomic analysis of day-night variations in protein levels in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Møller, Morten; Sparre, Thomas; Bache, Nicolai; Roepstorff, Peter; Vorum, Henrik

    2007-06-01

    The pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin. This secretion exhibits a circadian rhythm with a zenith during night and a nadir during day. We have performed proteome analysis of the superficial pineal gland in rats during daytime and nighttime. The proteins were extracted and subjected to 2-DE. Of 1747 protein spots revealed by electrophoresis, densitometric analysis showed the up-regulation of 25 proteins during nighttime and of 35 proteins during daytime. Thirty-seven of the proteins were identified by MALDI-TOF MS. The proteins up-regulated during the night are involved in the Krebs cycle, energy transduction, calcium binding, and intracellular transport. During the daytime, enzymes involved in glycolysis, electron transport, and also the Krebs cycle were up-regulated as well as proteins taking part in RNA binding and RNA processing. Our data show a prominent day-night variation of the protein levels in the rat pineal gland. Some proteins are up-regulated during the night concomitant with the melatonin secretion of the gland. Other proteins are up-regulated during the day indicating a pineal metabolism not related to the melatonin synthesis.

  20. 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.

  1. Sympathetic neuroaxonal dystrophy in the aged rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Robert E; Dorsey, Denise A; Parvin, Curtis A; Beaudet, Lucie N

    2006-10-01

    Dysfunction of circadian melatonin production by the pineal gland in aged humans and rats is thought to reflect the functional loss of its sympathetic innervation. Our ultrastructural neuropathologic studies of the sympathetic innervation of the pineal gland of aged (24 months old) Fischer-344 and Sprague-Dawley rats showed loss of nerve terminals as well as the development of neuroaxonal dystrophy (NAD), an ultrastructurally distinctive distal axonopathy, far in excess of that in young control rats. Immunolocalization of tyrosine hydroxylase confirmed the age-related loss of normal noradrenergic innervation and development of NAD. NAD was more frequent in aged female rats compared to males and was particularly severe in aged female Sprague-Dawley rats compared to Fischer-344 rats. Pineal NGF content was significantly increased or unchanged in female and male aged Fischer-344 rats, respectively, compared to young controls. The rat pineal is a sensitive experimental model for the quantitative ultrastructural examination of age-related neuropathological changes in nerve terminals of postganglionic noradrenergic sympathetic axons, changes which may reflect similar changes in the diffusely distributed sympathetic innervation of other targeted endorgans.

  2. 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.

  3. Seasonal variations of gonadotropins and prolactin in the laboratory rat. Role of maternal pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, N; Díaz, E; Fernández, C; Jiménez, V; Esquifino, A; Díaz, B

    2007-01-01

    The laboratory rat, a non-photoperiodic rodent, exhibits seasonal fluctuations of melatonin. Melatonin has been found to be readily transferred from the maternal to the fetal circulation. No data exist on the possible influence of maternal pineal gland upon seasonal variations of the offspring. The aim of the present study was to asses the influence of the maternal melatonin rhythm on the offspring postnatal development of the reproductive hormones LH, FSH and prolactin. Male offspring from control, pinealectomized (PIN-X) and PIN-X + melatonin (PIN-X+MEL) mother Wistar rats were studied at 21, 31, and 60 days of age. Seasonal age-dependent variations were found for all hormones studied in control offspring but PIN-X offspring showed a tendency to have reduced duration or altered seasonal variations. Maternal melatonin treatment to PIN-X mothers partially restored the effect of pinealectomy. The chronological study of LH, FSH, and prolactin in PIN-X offspring also showed an altered pattern as compared to control-offspring. Melatonin treatment to the mothers partially restored the developmental pattern of reproductive hormones. Results of this study indicate that maternal pineal gland of the laboratory rat is involved in the seasonal postnatal development variations of reproductive hormones of the offspring.

  4. Melatonin as a versatile molecule to design novel multitarget hybrids against neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Eva; Egea, Javier; de Los Ríos, Cristóbal; Marco-Contelles, José; Romero, Alejandro

    2017-05-01

    Melatonin is an indoleamine produced mainly in the pineal gland. The natural decline of melatonin levels with aging strongly contributes to the development of neurodegenerative disorders. Pleiotropic actions displayed by melatonin prevent several processes involved in neurodegeneration such as neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity and/or apoptosis. This review focuses on a number of melatonin hybrids resulting from the juxtaposition of tacrine, berberine, tamoxifen, curcumin, N,N-dibenzyl(N-methyl)amine, among others, with potential therapeutic effects for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  5. Formation of melatonin and its isomer during bread dough fermentation and effect of baking.

    PubMed

    Yılmaz, Cemile; Kocadağlı, Tolgahan; Gökmen, Vural

    2014-04-02

    Melatonin is produced mainly by the pineal gland in vertebrates. Also, melatonin and its isomer are found in foods. Investigating the formation of melatonin and its isomer is of importance during bread dough fermentation and its degradation during baking since bread is widely consumed in high amounts. Formation of melatonin was not significant during dough fermentation. The melatonin isomer content of nonfermented dough was found to be 4.02 ng/g and increased up to 16.71 ng/g during fermentation. Lower amounts of isomer in crumb and crust than dough showed that the thermal process caused a remarkable degree of degradation in melatonin isomer. At the end of the 180 min fermentation Trp decreased by 58%. The results revealed for the first time the formation of a melatonin isomer in bread dough during yeast fermentation.

  6. Which is the best choice for gastroesophageal disorders: Melatonin or proton pump inhibitors?

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira Torres, Joanna Dulce Favacho; de Souza Pereira, Ricardo

    2010-01-01

    Melatonin is used in many countries to improve sleep disorders. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and enterochromaffin cells which control sleep and gastrointestinal motility. Low levels of melatonin lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Most of patients with GERD have a sleep disorder. So, low melatonin levels is the main cause of insomnia. Beyond this, it has an inhibitory action on gastric acid secretion and seems to control the lower esophageal sphincter. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of drugs whose main action is a pronounced and long-lasting reduction of gastric acid production. They are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion available today. Omeprazole (one of the PPIs) and melatonin have similarities in their chemical structures. Therefore, we could consider omeprazole as a rough copy of melatonin. In this paper, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of the clinical use of melatonin and PPIs. PMID:21577303

  7. Alzheimer's disease: roles for mitochondrial damage, the hydroxyl radical, and cerebrospinal fluid deficiency of melatonin.

    PubMed

    Maurizi, C P

    2001-08-01

    A deficiency of cerebrospinal fluid melatonin is postulated to be critical for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Some melatonin is normally secreted directly into the fluid inducing higher levels than in simultaneously sampled blood. Melatonin is carried into the ventricular system via choroid plexus portals. The neurohormone is a potent antioxidant that passes through cell membranes with ease and is concentrated in mitochondria. Neural tissue in contact with the ventricular system will have high levels of cellular melatonin. In Alzheimer's disease, inadequate melatonin allows hydroxyl radicals produced by mitochondrial complex IV to damage mitochondria and initiate a cascade of oxygen radicals that causes the neuropathological changes in Alzheimer's disease. Results from initial therapeutic trials of melatonin in Alzheimer's disease patients have demonstrated improved function, decreased 'sundowning', improved sleep, and a significant slowing of the progression of the disease. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

  8. Melatonin, energy metabolism, and obesity: a review.

    PubMed

    Cipolla-Neto, J; Amaral, F G; Afeche, S C; Tan, D X; Reiter, R J

    2014-05-01

    Melatonin is an old and ubiquitous molecule in nature showing multiple mechanisms of action and functions in practically every living organism. In mammals, pineal melatonin functions as a hormone and a chronobiotic, playing a major role in the regulation of the circadian temporal internal order. The anti-obesogen and the weight-reducing effects of melatonin depend on several mechanisms and actions. Experimental evidence demonstrates that melatonin is necessary for the proper synthesis, secretion, and action of insulin. Melatonin acts by regulating GLUT4 expression and/or triggering, via its G-protein-coupled membrane receptors, the phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and its intracellular substrates mobilizing the insulin-signaling pathway. Melatonin is a powerful chronobiotic being responsible, in part, by the daily distribution of metabolic processes so that the activity/feeding phase of the day is associated with high insulin sensitivity, and the rest/fasting is synchronized to the insulin-resistant metabolic phase of the day. Furthermore, melatonin is responsible for the establishment of an adequate energy balance mainly by regulating energy flow to and from the stores and directly regulating the energy expenditure through the activation of brown adipose tissue and participating in the browning process of white adipose tissue. The reduction in melatonin production, as during aging, shift-work or illuminated environments during the night, induces insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, sleep disturbance, and metabolic circadian disorganization characterizing a state of chronodisruption leading to obesity. The available evidence supports the suggestion that melatonin replacement therapy might contribute to restore a more healthy state of the organism.

  9. Chicktacking pineal clock.

    PubMed

    Okano, Toshiyuki; Fukada, Yoshitaka

    2003-12-01

    Many tissues in non-mammalian vertebrates contain both photoreceptors and circadian clock systems. Among these photosensitive clock structures, the chick pineal gland has been characterized in detail from cellular and molecular aspects of the clock oscillation and entrainment. Analyses of the pineal photic-input pathway revealed a phase-shifting mechanism mediated by activation of G11, one of the Gq-type G-proteins. A major photoreceptive molecule, pinopsin, likely triggers this pathway by transmitting the light signal to the circadian oscillator. In the chick pineal oscillator, the transcription/translation-based autoregulatory feedback loop is composed of positive and negative elements (clock gene products) that are homologous to those identified in mammals. In the molecular cycling, a CACGTG E-box located in the promoter region of the negative element genes plays a central role in the transcriptional regulation. The phase of the molecular cycling is modulated by many regulatory components, among which E4BP4 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) are closely associated with the photic entrainment. A light-responsive element was found in the promoter region of the Pinopsin gene, and the element included a CACGTG E-box, suggesting a novel role of the E-box as a point of convergence of light and circadian signals. These observations together point to general and unique features of the chick pineal circadian system among animal clocks.

  10. Abnormal melatonin synthesis in autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Melke, Jonas; Goubran-Botros, Hany; Chaste, Pauline; Betancur, Catalina; Nygren, Gudrun; Anckarsäter, Henrik; Rastam, Maria; Ståhlberg, Ola; Gillberg, I. Carina; Delorme, Richard; Chabane, Nadia; Mouren-Simeoni, Marie-Christine; Fauchereau, Fabien; Durand, Christelle M.; Chevalier, Fabien; Drouot, Xavier; Collet, Corinne; Launay, Jean-Marie; Leboyer, Marion; Gillberg, Christopher; Bourgeron, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Melatonin is produced in the dark by the pineal gland and is a key regulator of circadian and seasonal rhythms. A low melatonin level was reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but the underlying cause of this deficit was unknown. The ASMT gene, encoding the last enzyme of melatonin synthesis, is located on the pseudo-autosomal region 1 of the sex chromosomes, deleted in several individuals with ASD. In this study, we sequenced all ASMT exons and promoters in individuals with ASD (n=250) and compared the allelic frequencies with controls (n=255). Non-conservative variations of ASMT were identified, including a splicing mutation present in two families with ASD, but not in controls. Two polymorphisms located in the promoter (rs4446909 and rs5989681) were more frequent in ASD compared to controls (P=0.0006) and were associated with a dramatic decrease in ASMT transcripts in blood cell lines (P=2×10−10). Biochemical analyses performed on blood platelets and/or cultured cells revealed a highly significant decrease in ASMT activity (P=2×10−12) and melatonin level (P=3×10−11) in individuals with ASD. These results indicate that a low melatonin level, caused by a primary deficit in ASMT activity, is a risk factor for ASD. They also support ASMT as a susceptibility gene for ASD and highlight the crucial role of melatonin in human cognition and behavior. PMID:17505466

  11. Melatonin: potential functions in the oral cavity.

    PubMed

    Cutando, Antonio; Gómez-Moreno, Gerardo; Arana, Carlos; Acuña-Castroviejo, Darío; Reiter, Russel J

    2007-06-01

    Melatonin is synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland and other organs. The pattern of melatonin secretion is controlled by an endogenous circadian timing system and conveys information about the light-dark cycle to the organism, thereby organizing its seasonal and circadian rhythms. Melatonin has powerful antioxidant effects, functions in an immunomodulatory role, may protect against certain cancers, delays some age-related processes, stimulates the synthesis of type I collagen fibers, and promotes bone formation. An extensive review was made (e.g., using PubMed, Science Direct, and Web of Knowledge) of the literature. Melatonin, which is released into the saliva, may have important implications for dental disorders, especially in periodontal disease. Diseases of the periodontium are known to be aggravated by free radicals and by alterations in the immune response to microorganisms that are present in plaque. In response to periodontal inflammation, the blood and salivary levels of melatonin may increase. Melatonin may play a role in protecting the oral cavity from tissue damage that is due to oxidative stress, and it may contribute to the regeneration of alveolar bone through the stimulation of type I collagen fiber production and the modulation of osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity.

  12. 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.

  13. Microarray and gene co-expression analysis reveals that melatonin attenuates immune responses and modulates actin rearrangement in macrophages.

    PubMed

    Kadena, Miki; Kumagai, Yutaro; Vandenbon, Alexis; Matsushima, Hitomi; Fukamachi, Haruka; Maruta, Noboru; Kataoka, Hideo; Arimoto, Takafumi; Morisaki, Hirobumi; Funatsu, Takahiro; Kuwata, Hirotaka

    2017-04-01

    Melatonin produced by the pineal gland suppresses inflammatory responses in innate immune cells. However, the mechanism of how melatonin affects inflammatory gene regulation remains unclear. Here we performed comprehensive microarray analysis combined with transcription factor binding site (TFBS) analysis using LPS-induced mouse macrophages to investigate the effect of melatonin treatment. The results showed that melatonin preferentially downregulated interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) related signaling. The results also showed that melatonin strongly suppressed virus infection related gene expression. Furthermore, TFBS analysis implicated that melatonin downregulated the binding activity of hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs), following destabilizing actin cytoskeleton which are indispensable for induction of the TRIF-dependent signaling pathway. Indeed, it was demonstrated that melatonin treatment caused impaired phagocytosis in macrophages. Thus, melatonin regulates inflammatory responses by inhibiting specific subsets of transcription factors (TFs) by disrupting actin dynamics in the macrophage. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Melatonin for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Siah, Kewin Tien Ho; Wong, Reuben Kong Min; Ho, Khek Yu

    2014-03-14

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder characterized by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort, in combination with disturbed bowel habits in the absence of identifiable organic cause. Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and also large number by enterochromaffin cells of the digestive mucosa. Melatonin plays an important part in gastrointestinal physiology which includes regulation of gastrointestinal motility, local anti-inflammatory reaction as well as moderation of visceral sensation. Melatonin is commonly given orally. It is categorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a dietary supplement. Melatonin treatment has an extremely wide margin of safety though it may cause minor adverse effects, such as headache, rash and nightmares. Melatonin was touted as a potential effective candidate for IBS treatment. Putative role of melatonin in IBS treatment include analgesic effects, regulator of gastrointestinal motility and sensation to sleep promoter. Placebo-controlled studies in melatonin suffered from heterogeneity in methodology. Most studies utilized 3 mg at bedtime as the standard dose of trial. However, all studies had consistently showed improvement in abdominal pain, some showed improvement in quality of life of IBS patients. Melatonin is a relatively safe drug that possesses potential in treating IBS. Future studies should focus on melatonin effect on gut mobility as well as its central nervous system effect to elucidate its role in IBS patients.

  15. Role of melatonin in Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian-zhi; Wang, Ze-fen

    2006-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD), an age-related neurodegenerative disorder with progressive loss of memory and deterioration of comprehensive cognition, is characterized by extracellular senile plaques of aggregated beta-amyloid (Abeta), and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles that contain hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Recent studies showed that melatonin, an indoleamine secreted by the pineal gland, may play an important role in aging and AD as an antioxidant and neuroprotector. Melatonin decreases during aging and patients with AD have a more profound reduction in this hormone. Data from clinical trials indicate that melatonin supplementation improves sleep, ameliorates sundowning, and slows down the progression of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer patients. Melatonin efficiently protects neuronal cells from Abeta-mediated toxicity via antioxidant and anti-amyloid properties: it not only inhibits Abeta generation, but also arrests the formation of amyloid fibrils by a structure-dependent interaction with Abeta. Our recent studies have demonstrated that melatonin efficiently attenuates Alzheimer-like tau hyperphosphorylation. Although the exact mechanism is still not fully understood, a direct regulatory influence of melatonin on the activities of protein kinases and protein phosphatases is proposed. Additionally, melatonin also plays a role in protecting cholinergic neurons and in anti-inflammation. Here, the neuroprotective effects of melatonin and the underlying mechanisms by which it exerts its effects are reviewed. The capacity of melatonin to prevent or ameliorate tau and Abeta pathology further enhances its potential in the prevention or treatment of AD.

  16. Melatonin for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Siah, Kewin Tien Ho; Wong, Reuben Kong Min; Ho, Khek Yu

    2014-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder characterized by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort, in combination with disturbed bowel habits in the absence of identifiable organic cause. Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and also large number by enterochromaffin cells of the digestive mucosa. Melatonin plays an important part in gastrointestinal physiology which includes regulation of gastrointestinal motility, local anti-inflammatory reaction as well as moderation of visceral sensation. Melatonin is commonly given orally. It is categorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a dietary supplement. Melatonin treatment has an extremely wide margin of safety though it may cause minor adverse effects, such as headache, rash and nightmares. Melatonin was touted as a potential effective candidate for IBS treatment. Putative role of melatonin in IBS treatment include analgesic effects, regulator of gastrointestinal motility and sensation to sleep promoter. Placebo-controlled studies in melatonin suffered from heterogeneity in methodology. Most studies utilized 3 mg at bedtime as the standard dose of trial. However, all studies had consistently showed improvement in abdominal pain, some showed improvement in quality of life of IBS patients. Melatonin is a relatively safe drug that possesses potential in treating IBS. Future studies should focus on melatonin effect on gut mobility as well as its central nervous system effect to elucidate its role in IBS patients. PMID:24627586

  17. Morphofunctional changes in the pineal gland during dynamic adaptation to hypothermia.

    PubMed

    Bondarenko, L A; Gubina-Vakulik, G I

    2003-05-01

    The effects of stress induced by hypothermia (+4 degrees C for 3 h) on the pathways of serotonin metabolism in the pineal gland and on its structure were studied in adult male Wistar rats. These experiments showed that the melatonin-forming function of the epiphysis undergoes phasic changes during adaptation: there was a significant increase during the first 15 min, which was followed by gradual inhibition (to initial by 30 min) and then sharp suppression (at 3 h). Suppression of the functional activity of the pineal gland occurred because of exclusion of a proportion of pinealocytes from the process of active functioning.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. EXTIRPATION OF THE PINEAL BODY

    PubMed Central

    Dandy, Walter E.

    1915-01-01

    1. Following the removal of the pineal I have observed no sexual precocity or indolence, no adiposity or emaciation, no somatic or mental precocity or retardation. 2. Our experiments seem to have yielded nothing to sustain the view that the pineal gland has an active endocrine function of importance either in the very young or adult dogs. 3. The pineal is apparently not essential to life and seems to have no influence upon the animal's well being. PMID:19867913

  1. Renal neurohormonal regulation in heart failure decompensation.

    PubMed

    Jönsson, Sofia; Agic, Mediha Becirovic; Narfström, Fredrik; Melville, Jacqueline M; Hultström, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Decompensation in heart failure occurs when the heart fails to balance venous return with cardiac output, leading to fluid congestion and contributing to mortality. Decompensated heart failure can cause acute kidney injury (AKI), which further increases mortality. Heart failure activates signaling systems that are deleterious to kidneys such as renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and vasopressin secretion. All three reduce renal blood flow (RBF) and increase tubular sodium reabsorption, which may increase renal oxygen consumption causing AKI through renal tissue hypoxia. Vasopressin contributes to venous congestion through aquaporin-mediated water retention. Additional water retention may be mediated through vasopressin-induced medullary urea transport and hyaluronan but needs further study. In addition, there are several systems that could protect the kidneys and reduce fluid retention such as natriuretic peptides, prostaglandins, and nitric oxide. However, the effect of natriuretic peptides and nitric oxide are blunted in decompensation, partly due to oxidative stress. This review considers how neurohormonal signaling in heart failure drives fluid retention by the kidneys and thus exacerbates decompensation. It further identifies areas where there is limited data, such as signaling systems 20-HETE, purines, endothelin, the role of renal water retention mechanisms for congestion, and renal hypoxia in AKI during heart failure.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The photoreceptive cells of the pineal gland in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Laurà, Rosaria; Magnoli, Domenico; Zichichi, Rosalia; Guerrera, Maria Cristina; De Carlos, Felix; Suárez, Alberto Álvarez; Abbate, Francesco; Ciriaco, Emilia; Vega, Jose Antonio; Germanà, Antonino

    2012-03-01

    The zebrafish pineal gland plays a fundamental role in the regulation of the circadian rhythm through the melatonin secretion. The pinealocytes, also called photoreceptive cells, are considered the morphofunctional unit of pineal gland. In literature, the anatomical features, the cellular characteristics, and the pinealocytes morphology of zebrafish pineal gland have not been previously described in detail. Therefore, this study was undertaken to analyze the structure and ultrastructure, as well as the immunohistochemical profile of the zebrafish pineal gland with particular reference to the pinealocytes. Here, we demonstrated, using RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy, the expression of the mRNA for rhodopsin in the pineal gland of zebrafish, as well as its cellular localization exclusively in the pinealocytes of adult zebrafish. Moreover, the ultrastructural observations demonstrated that the pinealocytes were constituted by an outer segment with numerous lamellar membranes, an inner segment with many mitochondria, and a basal pole with the synapses. Our results taken together demonstrated a central role of zebrafish pinealocytes in the control of pineal gland functions.

  5. 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

  6. Carbamate Insecticides Target Human Melatonin Receptors.

    PubMed

    Popovska-Gorevski, Marina; Dubocovich, Margarita L; Rajnarayanan, Rajendram V

    2017-02-20

    Carbaryl (1-naphthyl methylcarbamate) and carbofuran (2,3-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-7-benzofuranyl methylcarbamate) are among the most toxic insecticides, implicated in a variety of diseases including diabetes and cancer among others. Using an integrated pharmacoinformatics based screening approach, we have identified these insecticides to be structural mimics of the neurohormone melatonin and were able to bind to the putative melatonin binding sites in MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors in silico. Carbaryl and carbofuran then were tested for competition with 2-[(125)I]-iodomelatonin (300 pM) binding to hMT1 or hMT2 receptors stably expressed in CHO cells. Carbaryl and carbofuran showed higher affinity for competition with 2-[(125)I]-iodomelatonin binding to the hMT2 compared to the hMT1 melatonin receptor (33 and 35-fold difference, respectively) as predicted by the molecular modeling. In the presence of GTP (100 μM), which decouples the G-protein linked receptors to modulate signaling, the apparent efficacy of carbaryl and carbofuran for 2-[(125)I]-iodomelatonin binding for the hMT1 melatonin receptor was not affected but significantly decreased for the hMT2 melatonin receptor compatible with receptor antagonist/inverse agonist and agonist efficacy, respectively. Altogether, our data points to a potentially new mechanism through which carbamate insecticides carbaryl and carbofuran could impact human health by altering the homeostatic balance of key regulatory processes by directly binding to melatonin receptors.

  7. A 0.5 G, 60 Hz magnetic field suppresses melatonin production in pinealocytes.

    PubMed

    Rosen, L A; Barber, I; Lyle, D B

    1998-01-01

    The objective of this study was to develop a model for testing various hypotheses concerning possible mechanisms whereby electromagnetic fields might induce suppression of nighttime melatonin production in rodents. A published method for digesting freshly obtained pineal glands to the single cell level was modified, yielding better than 95% viability. An in vitro exposure facility developed for the Food and Drug Administration was used for 12-h overnight exposures of primary pinealocyte cultures to 0.05 mT, 60 Hz, vertical AC and 0.06 microT, DC fields. After exposure, cells were separated from the supernatant by centrifugation. Supernatant melatonin was measured by ELISA assays. Data from 10 experiments demonstrated an average 46% reduction in norepinephrine-induced production of melatonin in the pinealocytes. The results support the hypothesis that EM exposure can produce pineal gland melatonin suppression by affecting individual cells.

  8. Cloning, localization and functional properties of a cGMP-gated channel in photoreceptor cells from fish pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Decressac, Sonia; Grechez-Cassiau, Aline; Lenfant, Jacques; Falcón, Jacky; Bois, Patrick

    2002-11-01

    The perception of photic information and its translation into a rhythmic melatonin signal differ considerably among vertebrates. In the fish pineal gland, melatonin biosynthesis is controlled directly by the natural light/dark cycle. There are indications that the mechanisms of phototransduction are similar in the retinal and pineal photoreceptor cells. Here we report the molecular cloning of a novel ionic cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-gated channel from trout pineal photoreceptors. The deduced amino acid sequence exhibits a high sequence homology to cyclic nucleotide-gated-3 (CNG) channels from retinal cones. In situ hybridization with sections of trout pineal gland revealed the expression of CNG channel in photoreceptor cells of the pineal organ. Electrophysiological studies by means of patch-clamp technique indicated that the native channel in photoreceptor cells and the expressed channel in a human cell line (HEK 293 cells) have properties similar to those of cone-CNG (cCNG)-3 channels. They are activated by cGMP, insensitive to cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and blocked by intracellular Mg2+ ions at positive voltage values. They have a single-channel conductance close to 42 pS in negative voltage range. In transfected HEK cells loaded with the calcium indicator dye Fura 2, direct activation of CNG channels by 8-Br-cGMP increased fluorescence. The signal was blocked by the addition of Mg2+ ions. From these results, it is suggested that the pineal cyclic nucleotide-gated channel is a good candidate for mediating calcium entry into the pineal photoreceptors. It is most probably a key element in the signalling pathways that control the rhythmic production of melatonin.

  9. Primary pineal malignant melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Cedeño Diaz, Oderay Mabel; Leal, Roberto García; La Cruz Pelea, Cesar

    2011-01-01

    Primary pineal malignant melanoma is a rare entity, with only thirteen cases reported in the world literature to date. We report a case of a 70-year-old man, who consulted with gait disturbance of six months duration, associated in the last month with dizziness, visual abnormalities and diplopia. No other additional melanocytic lesions were found elsewhere. The magnetic resonance showed a 25 mm expansive mass in the pineal gland that was associated with hydrocephaly, ventricular and transependimary oedema. The lesion was partially excised by a supracerebellar infratentorial approach. The histological examination revealed a melanoma. The patient received radiation therapy, but died of disease 16 weeks later. We herein review the literature on this rare tumour and comment on its clinical, radiological and histopathological features and differential diagnosis. PMID:24765293

  10. Current role of melatonin in pediatric neurology: clinical recommendations.

    PubMed

    Bruni, Oliviero; Alonso-Alconada, Daniel; Besag, Frank; Biran, Valerie; Braam, Wiebe; Cortese, Samuele; Moavero, Romina; Parisi, Pasquale; Smits, Marcel; Van der Heijden, Kristiaan; Curatolo, Paolo

    2015-03-01

    Melatonin, an indoleamine secreted by the pineal gland, plays a key role in regulating circadian rhythm. It has chronobiotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging properties. A conference in Rome in 2014 aimed to establish consensus on the roles of melatonin in children and on treatment guidelines. The best evidence for efficacy is in sleep onset insomnia and delayed sleep phase syndrome. It is most effective when administered 3-5 h before physiological dim light melatonin onset. There is no evidence that extended-release melatonin confers advantage over immediate release. Many children with developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and intellectual disability have sleep disturbance and can benefit from melatonin treatment. Melatonin decreases sleep onset latency and increases total sleep time but does not decrease night awakenings. Decreased CYP 1A2 activity, genetically determined or from concomitant medication, can slow metabolism, with loss of variation in melatonin level and loss of effect. Decreasing the dose can remedy this. Animal work and limited human data suggest that melatonin does not exacerbate seizures and might decrease them. Melatonin has been used successfully in treating headache. Animal work has confirmed a neuroprotective effect of melatonin, suggesting a role in minimising neuronal damage from birth asphyxia; results from human studies are awaited. Melatonin can also be of value in the performance of sleep EEGs and as sedation for brainstem auditory evoked potential assessments. No serious adverse effects of melatonin in humans have been identified. Copyright © 2014 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Nuclear exclusion of the androgen receptor by melatonin.

    PubMed

    Rimler, Avi; Culig, Zoran; Lupowitz, Zippora; Zisapel, Nava

    2002-05-01

    Androgen receptors (AR) play a crucial role in androgen-mediated processes and prostate cancer progression. The pineal hormone melatonin attenuates the androgen-dependent growth of benign and cancer prostate epithelial cells in vitro and may reverse clinical resistance to androgen ablation therapy in patients progressing on gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue. Where along the AR cascade does melatonin act remains to be determined. The effects of melatonin on AR localization, level and activity were assessed using androgen-insensitive prostate carcinoma PC3 cells stably transfected with a wild-type AR-expressing vector (PC3-AR).AR was localized to the PC3-AR cell nucleus in the absence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Melatonin caused a robust exclusion of the AR from the cell nucleus to the cytoplasm. The nuclear export inhibitor, leptomycin B prevented this process. The exclusion was selective since melatonin had no such effect on the nuclear localization of estrogen receptors alpha (ERalpha) in these cells. Melatonin also caused nuclear exclusion of the AR in the presence of DHT. In addition, it attenuated androgen induced reporter gene activity in PC3 cells co-transfected with the human AR and AR reporter plasmids. Elevated androgen concentrations counteracted melatonin's effects. Melatonin did not decrease AR level or androgen binding in the cells. The nuclear localization of the AR is a hallmark of its cellular activity. These data point to AR nuclear exclusion as a possible mechanism to attenuate androgen responses in target tissues.

  14. Aging-dependent changes in the effect of daily melatonin supplementation on rat metabolic and behavioral responses.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, D D; Mitton, D R; Larsen, S A; Yellon, S M

    2001-08-01

    Pineal melatonin secretion has been reported to commonly decrease with aging, whereas intra-abdominal adiposity, plasma insulin and plasma leptin levels tend to increase. We recently demonstrated that daily melatonin administration starting at middle age suppressed male rat intra-abdominal fat, plasma leptin and plasma insulin to youthful levels, suggesting that aging-related changes in pineal melatonin secretion and in energy regulation may be functionally related. Accordingly, we have now investigated the effects of daily melatonin treatment on energy regulation in young versus middle-aged male Sprague Dawley rats. Addition of melatonin to the drinking water (0.2 microg/mL) produced nocturnal and diurnal plasma melatonin concentrations in middle-aged rats (12 months) equivalent to those of young adult (5 months) rats. Administration of this melatonin dosage every day for 10 wk starting at 10 months of age suppressed (P < 0.01) relative intra-abdominal fat, non-fasted plasma insulin and plasma leptin by 27, 39, and 51%, respectively (vs. vehicle-treated controls). In contrast, administration of melatonin for 10 wk starting at 3 months of age did not significantly alter (P> 0.10) any of these parameters. The melatonin administration stimulated (102%, P < 0.001) behavioral responsiveness of the middle-aged rats in a test of response to novelty, restoring youthful levels, but did not significantly alter behavioral responsiveness of the young rats. These results suggest that suppression of intra-abdominal adiposity and plasma leptin and insulin levels and stimulation of behavioral responsiveness in response to daily exogenous melatonin begins at middle age, coincident with and likely dependent upon the aging-associated decline in endogenous pineal melatonin secretion. These results further suggest that appropriate melatonin supplementation may potentially provide therapy or prophylaxis not only for the insulin resistance, increased intra-abdominal fat and resulting

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Melatonin, sleep disturbance and cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Blask, David E

    2009-08-01

    The pineal hormone melatonin is involved in the circadian regulation and facilitation of sleep, the inhibition of cancer development and growth, and the enhancement of immune function. Individuals, such as night shift workers, who are exposed to light at night on a regular basis experience biological rhythm (i.e., circadian) disruption including circadian phase shifts, nocturnal melatonin suppression, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, these individuals are not only immune suppressed, but they are also at an increased risk of developing a number of different types of cancer. There is a reciprocal interaction and regulation between sleep and the immune system quite independent of melatonin. Sleep disturbances can lead to immune suppression and a shift to the predominance in cancer-stimulatory cytokines. Some studies suggest that a shortened duration of nocturnal sleep is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer development. The relative individual contributions of sleep disturbance, circadian disruption due to light at night exposure, and related impairments of melatonin production and immune function to the initiation and promotion of cancer in high-risk individuals such as night shift workers are unknown. The mutual reinforcement of interacting circadian rhythms of melatonin production, the sleep/wake cycle and immune function may indicate a new role for undisturbed, high quality sleep, and perhaps even more importantly, uninterrupted darkness, as a previously unappreciated endogenous mechanism of cancer prevention.

  19. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

    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.

  1. Melatonin and male reproductive health: relevance of darkness and antioxidant properties.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C S; Rato, L; Martins, A D; Alves, M G; Oliveira, P F

    2015-01-01

    The pineal hormone melatonin controls several physiological functions that reach far beyond the regulation of the circadian rhythm. Moreover, it can be produced in extra-pineal organs such as reproductive organs. The role of melatonin in the mammalian seasonal and circadian rhythm is well known. Nevertheless, its overall effect in male reproductive physiology remains largely unknown. Melatonin is a very powerful endogenous antioxidant that can also be exogenously taken safely. Interestingly, its antioxidant properties have been consistently reported to improve the male reproductive dysfunctions associated with pathological conditions and also with the exposure to toxicants. Nevertheless, the exact molecular mechanisms by which melatonin exerts its action in the male reproductive system remain a matter of debate. Herein, we propose to present an up-to-date overview of the melatonin effects in the male reproductive health and debate future directions to disclose possible sites of melatonin action in male reproductive system. We will discuss not only the role of melatonin during darkness and sleep but also the importance of the antioxidant properties of this hormone to male fertility. Since melatonin readily crosses the physiological barriers, such as the blood-testis barrier, and has a very low toxicity, it appears as an excellent candidate in the prevention and/or treatment of the multiple male reproductive dysfunctions associated with various pathologies.

  2. What is known about melatonin, chemotherapy and altered gene expression in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Campa, Carlos; Menéndez-Menéndez, Javier; Alonso-González, Carolina; González, Alicia; Álvarez-García, Virginia; Cos, Samuel

    2017-01-01

    Melatonin, synthesized in and released from the pineal gland, has been demonstrated by multiple in vivo and in vitro studies to have an oncostatic role in hormone-dependent tumors. Furthermore, several clinical trials point to melatonin as a promising adjuvant molecule to be considered for cancer treatment. In the past few years, evidence of a broader spectrum of action of melatonin as an antitumor agent has arisen; thus, melatonin appears to also have therapeutic effects in several types of hormone-independent cancer, including ovarian, leukemic, pancreatic, gastric and non-small cell lung carcinoma. In the present study, the latest findings regarding melatonin molecular actions when concomitantly administered with either radiotherapy or chemotherapy in cancer were reviewed, with a particular focus on hormone-dependent breast cancer. Finally, the present study discusses which direction should be followed in the next years to definitely clarify whether or not melatonin administration could protect against non-desirable effects (such as altered gene expression and post-translational protein modifications) caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments. As treatments move towards personalized medicine, comparative gene expression profiling with and without melatonin may be a powerful tool to better understand the antitumor effects of melatonin, the pineal gland hormone. PMID:28454355

  3. Retinal light input is required to sustain plasma melatonin rhythms in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus niloticus.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Chavez, C C; Migaud, H

    2009-05-07

    The aim of this work was to confirm previous findings suggesting that the eyes are required for night-time melatonin production in Nile tilapia and further characterise this divergent circadian organisation. To do so, melatonin levels were firstly measured in eyecups and plasma to determine circadian patterns of melatonin production. Secondly, the effect of partial ophthalmectomy on the suppression of melatonin production was determined in vivo as well as ex vivo pineal light/dark sensitivity. Finally, to investigate whether such findings could be related to post-surgery stress, melatonin analyses were performed in the subsequent 24 h and 7 days post-ophthalmectomy with cortisol levels assessed as an indicator of stress. Our results showed an inverse pattern of melatonin production in the eye cups of tilapia compared to blood circulating levels, suggesting different roles played by melatonin in these two tissues. Results then demonstrated that total or partial ophthalmectomy resulted in the suppression of night-time melatonin production. Furthermore, although pineals in culture were shown to be photosensitive, night-time melatonin levels were much lower than seen in other species. Finally, when performing sampling immediately or one week post-surgery, no difference in the melatonin profiles were observed. It is therefore unlikely that post-surgery stress would explain such suppression in melatonin production although all fish displayed high cortisol levels most probably due to social and handling stress. Taken together, these results provide further evidence of a new type of circadian organisation in a teleost species where the eyes are required to sustain night-time melatonin levels.

  4. Modulation of Aanat gene transcription in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Ho, Anthony K; Chik, Constance L

    2010-01-01

    The main function of the rat pineal gland is to transform the circadian rhythm generated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus into a rhythmic signal of circulating melatonin characterized by a large nocturnal increase that closely reflects the duration of night period. This is achieved through the tight coupling between environmental lighting and the expression of arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase, the rhythm-controlling enzyme in melatonin synthesis. The initiation of Aanat transcription at night is controlled largely by the norepinephrine-stimulated phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein by protein kinase A. However, to accurately reflect the duration of darkness, additional signaling mechanisms also participate to fine-tune the temporal profile of adrenergic-induced Aanat transcription. Here, we reviewed some of these signaling mechanisms, with emphasis on the more recent findings. These signaling mechanisms can be divided into two groups: those involving modification of constitutively expressed proteins and those requiring synthesis of new proteins. This review highlights the pineal gland as an excellent model system for studying neurotransmitter-regulated rhythmic gene expression.

  5. Daily rhythm and regulation of clock gene expression in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Simonneaux, V; Poirel, V-J; Garidou, M-L; Nguyen, D; Diaz-Rodriguez, E; Pévet, P

    2004-01-05

    Rhythms in pineal melatonin synthesis are controlled by the biological clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei. The endogenous clock oscillations rely upon genetic mechanisms involving clock genes coding for transcription factors working in negative and positive feedback loops. Most of these clock genes are expressed rhythmically in other tissues. Because of the peculiar role of the pineal gland in the photoneuroendocrine axis regulating biological rhythms, we studied whether clock genes are expressed in the rat pineal gland and how their expression is regulated.Per1, Per3, Cry2 and Cry1 clock genes are expressed in the pineal gland and their transcription is increased during the night. Analysis of the regulation of these pineal clock genes indicates that they may be categorized into two groups. Expression of Per1 and Cry2 genes shows the following features: (1) the 24 h rhythm persists, although damped, in constant darkness; (2) the nocturnal increase is abolished following light exposure or injection with a beta-adrenergic antagonist; and (3) the expression during daytime is stimulated by an injection with a beta-adrenergic agonist. In contrast, Per3 and Cry1 day and night mRNA levels are not responsive to adrenergic ligands (as previously reported for Per2) and daily expression of Per3 and Cry1 appears strongly damped or abolished in constant darkness. These data show that the expression of Per1 and Cry2 in the rat pineal gland is regulated by the clock-driven changes in norepinephrine, in a similar manner to the melatonin rhythm-generating enzyme arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase. The expression of Per3 and Cry1 displays a daily rhythm not regulated by norepinephrine, suggesting the involvement of another day/night regulated transmitter(s).

  6. Protective effects of melatonin on lipopolysaccharide-induced mastitis in mice.

    PubMed

    Shao, Guoxi; Tian, Yinggang; Wang, Haiyu; Liu, Fangning; Xie, Guanghong

    2015-12-01

    Melatonin, a secretory product of the pineal gland, has been reported to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the protective effects of melatonin on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mastitis have not been reported. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects and the underlying mechanisms of melatonin on LPS-induced mastitis both in vivo and in vitro. In vivo, our results showed that melatonin attenuated LPS-induced mammary histopathologic changes and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Melatonin also inhibited LPS-induced inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) production in mammary tissues. In vitro, melatonin was found to inhibit LPS-induced TNF-α and IL-6 production in mouse mammary epithelial cells. Melatonin also suppressed LPS-induced Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) activation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, melatonin was found to up-regulate the expression of PPAR-γ. Inhibition of PPAR-γ by GW9662 reduced the anti-inflammatory effects of melatonin. In conclusion, we found that melatonin, for the first time, had protective effects on LPS-induced mastitis in mice. The anti-inflammatory mechanism of melatonin was through activating PPAR-γ which subsequently inhibited LPS-induced inflammatory responses.

  7. Melatonin production and light exposure of rotating night workers.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Marie; Lanctôt, Valérie; Cadieux-Viau, Raphaëlle; Paquet, Jean

    2012-03-01

    Decreased melatonin production, due to acute suppression of pineal melatonin secretion by light exposure during night work, has been suggested to underlie higher cancer risks associated with prolonged experience of night work. However, the association between light exposure and melatonin production has never been measured in the field. In this study, 24-h melatonin production and ambulatory light exposure were assessed during both night-shift and day/evening-shift periods in 13 full-time rotating shiftworkers. Melatonin production was estimated with the excretion of urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s), and light exposure was measured with an ambulatory photometer. There was no difference in total 24-h aMT6s excretion between the two work periods. The night-shift period was characterized by a desynchrony between melatonin and sleep-wake rhythms, as shown by higher melatonin production during work and lower melatonin production during sleep when working night shifts than when working day/evening shifts. Light exposure during night work showed no correlation with aMT6s excreted during the night of work (p > .5), or with the difference in 24-h aMT6s excretion between the two work periods (p > .1). However, light exposure during night work was negatively correlated with total 24-h aMT6s excretion over the entire night-shift period (p < .01). In conclusion, there was no evidence of direct melatonin suppression during night work in this population. However, higher levels of light exposure during night work may have decreased total melatonin production, possibly by initiating re-entrainment and causing internal desynchrony. This interpretation is consistent with the proposition that circadian disruption, of which decreased melatonin production is only one of the adverse consequences, could be the mediator between night shiftwork and cancer risks.

  8. The rhythm and blues of gene expression in the rodent pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Karolczak, Magdalena; Korf, Horst-Werner; Stehle, Jörg H

    2005-07-01

    In all vertebrates, melatonin is rhythmically synthesized in the pineal gland and functions as a hormonal message, encoding for the duration of night. In rodents, the nocturnal rise and fall of the arylalkylamine N-ace-tyltransferase (AA-NAT) activity controls the rhythmic synthesis of melatonin. This rhythm is centered around the transcriptional regulation of the AA-NAT by two norepinephrine-inducible transcription factors, the activator CREB (Ca2+/cAMP-response element binding protein) and the inhibitor ICER (inducible cAMP early repressor). CREB is activated by phosphorylation, which is one of the fastest responses in pinealocytes upon adrenergic stimulation, occurring within minutes. ICER in turn accumulates only after several hours, a time gap resulting from the required de novo protein synthesis upon adrenergic stimulation. However, these molecular components of neuroendocrine signaling in the rodent pineal gland are supplemented by the impact of a variety of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, and by translational and post-translational mechanisms. By molecular crosstalk, those different inputs on pinealocytes seem to fine-tune the shape of the melatonin signal, by interacting at various levels with the NE/cAMP/pCREB/ICER pathway. In addition, these alternate signaling routes may be important in acute "emergency" situations. Together, concerted signaling events in the rodent pineal gland help to generate a stable and reliable hormonal message of darkness for the body, that, however, can be altered rapidly upon sudden and unexpected "error" signals.

  9. Light-dependent activation of rod transducin by pineal opsin.

    PubMed

    Max, M; Surya, A; Takahashi, J S; Margolskee, R F; Knox, B E

    1998-10-09

    The pineal gland expresses a unique member of the opsin family (P-opsin; Max, M., McKinnon, P. J., Seidenman, K. J., Barrett, R. K., Applebury, M. L., Takahashi, J. S., and Margolskee, R. F. (1995) Science 267, 1502-1506) that may play a role in circadian entrainment and photo-regulation of melatonin synthesis. To study the function of this protein, an epitope-tagged P-opsin was stably expressed in an embryonic chicken pineal cell line. When incubated with 11-cis-retinal, a light-sensitive pigment was formed with a lambdamax at 462 +/- 2 nm. P-opsin bleached slowly in the dark (t1/2 = 2 h) in the presence of 50 mM hydroxylamine. Purified P-opsin in dodecyl maltoside activated rod transducin in a light-dependent manner, catalyzing the exchange of more than 300 mol of GTPgammaS (guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate))/mol of P-opsin. The initial rate for activation (75 mol of GTPgammaS bound/mol of P-opsin/min at 7 microM) increased with increasing concentrations of transducin. The addition of egg phosphatidylcholine to P-opsin had little effect on the activation kinetics; however, the intrinsic rate of decay in the absence of transducin was accelerated. These results demonstrate that P-opsin is an efficient catalyst for activation of rod transducin and suggest that the pineal gland may contain a rodlike phototransduction cascade.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2011-01-01

    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

  11. A promoter polymorphism in the monoamine oxidase A gene is associated with the pineal MAOA activity in Alzheimer's disease patients.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ying-Hui; Fischer, David F; Swaab, Dick F

    2007-09-05

    Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) is involved in the pathogenesis of mood disorders and Alzheimer's disease (AD). MAOA activity and gene expression have been found to be up-regulated in different brain areas of AD patients, including the pineal gland. Increased pineal MAOA activity might contribute to the reduced pineal melatonin production in AD. A promoter polymorphism of a variable number tandem repeats (VNTR) in the MAOA gene shows to affect MAOA transcriptional activity in vitro. Here we examined in 63 aged controls and 44 AD patients the effects of the MAOA-VNTR on MAOA gene expression and activity in the pineal gland as endophenotypes, and on melatonin production. AD patients carrying long MAOA-VNTR genotype (consisting of 3.5- or 4-repeat alleles) showed higher MAOA gene expression and activity than the short-genotyped (i.e., 3-repeat allele) AD patients. Moreover, the AD-related up-regulation of MAOA showed up only among long-genotype bearing subjects. There was no significant effect of the MAOA-VNTR on MAOA activity or gene expression in controls, or on melatonin production in both controls and AD patients. Our data suggest that the MAOA-VNTR affects the activity and gene expression of MAOA in the brain of AD patients, and is involved in the changes of monoamine metabolism.

  12. Degree of pineal calcification (DOC) is associated with polysomnographic sleep measures in primary insomnia patients.

    PubMed

    Mahlberg, Richard; Kienast, Thorsten; Hädel, Sven; Heidenreich, Jens Olaf; Schmitz, Stephan; Kunz, Dieter

    2009-04-01

    Melatonin plays a key role in the proper functioning of the circadian timing system (CTS), and exogenous melatonin has been shown to be beneficial in cases of CTS and sleep disturbances. Nevertheless, the concept of "melatonin deficit" has yet to be defined. The aim of our study was, therefore, to determine the relationship between the degree of pineal calcification (DOC) and a range of sleep parameters measured objectively using polysomnography (PSG). A total of 31 outpatients (17 women, 14 men, mean age 45.9 years; SD 14.4) with primary insomnia were included in our study. Following an adaptation night, a PSG recording night was performed in the sleep laboratory. Urine samples were collected at predefined intervals over a 32-h period that included both PSG nights. The measurement of 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) levels was determined using ELISA. DOC and volume of calcified pineal tissue (CPT) and uncalcified pineal tissue (UPT) were estimated by means of cranial computed tomography. UPT was positively associated with 24-h aMT6s excretion (r=0.569; P=0.002), but CPT was not. After controlling for age, aMT6s parameters, CPT, and UPT did not correlate with any of the PSG parameters evaluated. In contrast, DOC was negatively associated with REM sleep percentage (r=-0.567, P=0.001), total sleep time (r=-0.463, P=0.010), and sleep efficiency (r=-0.422, P=0.020). DOC appears to be a superior indicator of melatonin deficit compared to the absolute amount of melatonin in the circulation. High DOC values indicate changes predominantly in the PSG parameters governed by the circadian timing system. DOC may thus serve as a marker of CTS instability.

  13. Evidence of a role for melatonin in fetal sheep physiology: direct actions of melatonin on fetal cerebral artery, brown adipose tissue and adrenal gland

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Farfan, Claudia; Valenzuela, Francisco J; Mondaca, Mauricio; Valenzuela, Guillermo J; Krause, Bernardo; Herrera, Emilio A; Riquelme, Raquel; Llanos, Anibal J; Seron-Ferre, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Although the fetal pineal gland does not secrete melatonin, the fetus is exposed to melatonin of maternal origin. In the non-human primate fetus, melatonin acts as a trophic hormone for the adrenal gland, stimulating growth while restraining cortisol production. This latter physiological activity led us to hypothesize that melatonin may influence some fetal functions critical for neonatal adaptation to extrauterine life. To test this hypothesis we explored (i) the presence of G-protein-coupled melatonin binding sites and (ii) the direct modulatory effects of melatonin on noradrenaline (norepinephrine)-induced middle cerebral artery (MCA) contraction, brown adipose tissue (BAT) lypolysis and ACTH-induced adrenal cortisol production in fetal sheep. We found that melatonin directly inhibits the response to noradrenaline in the MCA and BAT, and also inhibits the response to ACTH in the adrenal gland. Melatonin inhibition was reversed by the melatonin antagonist luzindole only in the fetal adrenal. MCA, BAT and adrenal tissue displayed specific high-affinity melatonin binding sites coupled to G-protein (Kd values: MCA 64 ± 1 pm, BAT 98.44 ± 2.12 pm and adrenal 4.123 ± 3.22 pm). Melatonin binding was displaced by luzindole only in the adrenal gland, supporting the idea that action in the MCA and BAT is mediated by different melatonin receptors. These direct inhibitory responses to melatonin support a role for melatonin in fetal physiology, which we propose prevents major contraction of cerebral vessels, restrains cortisol release and restricts BAT lypolysis during fetal life. PMID:18599539

  14. Arginine vasotocin activates phosphoinositide signal transduction system and potentiates N-acetyltransferase activity in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Novotná, R; Jác, M; Hájek, I; Novotný, I

    1999-03-05

    The pineal gland is innervated by pinealopetal peptidergic fibers originating in the hypothalamic nuclei which release arginine vasopressin (AVP) and arginine vasotocin (AVT) from their endings. Since the mechanism of AVT action on the pineal signal transduction and melatonin synthesis has not been determined so far, we examined the effect of AVT on the phosphoinositide signalling system and the N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity in the rat pineal gland. The effect of AVP 4-9 fragment and AVP analogue desmopressin was also tested. The phosphoinositide signalling system was studied by measuring 32P labelling of phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) and phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) which reflects PI cycle activation. AVT (10(-5) and 10(-4) M) induced a significant increase in 32P labelling of PI, PIP and PIP2. The AVT mediated activation of the PI signal cascade was supressed by the vasopressin V1 receptor antagonist. The desmopressin and AVP 4-9 fragment were without the effect on PI signalling. To assess the AVT role in the melatonin synthesis we studied the daily pattern of the pineal NAT activity in rats treated by AVT (10 microg/100 g b.w). AVT application in the dark period of the day significantly increased nocturnal NAT activity. It can be summarized that AVT activates PI signalling system and potentiates NAT activity in the rat pineal gland.

  15. Immunocytochemical characterization of Delta-opioid and Mu-opioid receptor protein in the bovine pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Phansuwan-Pujito, Pansiri; Ebadi, Manuchair; Govitrapong, Piyarat

    2006-01-01

    Opioidergic innervation has been identified in the mammalian pineal gland. Recently, opioid receptors in bovine pineal glands have been characterized; the activation of these receptors leads to the stimulation of melatonin synthesis. In this study, the precise localization of opioid receptors in bovine pineal glands was determined by an immunohistochemical technique using antibodies raised against delta-opioid and mu-opioid receptors. Immunoreactivity of these two receptors was present at a moderate level in pinealocytes. A double-labeling study has shown that delta-opioid receptors are localized predominantly with mu-opioid receptors in the same pinealocytes. These immunopositive pinealocytes are often located in a group; however, some of them are dispersed individually. In addition, both types of receptors were found in glial cells and processes. A small number of delta-receptor-immunoreactive nerve fibers were observed in the perivascular space and intraparenchyma of the pineal gland. Mu-opioid receptor immunoreactivity was found in a number of nerve fibers throughout the gland, and in terminal-like dots on pinealocytes. There was immunocolocalization between delta-opioid receptors or mu-opioid receptors and leu-enkephalin in some nerve fibers. The results of this study indicate that the modulatory effect of the opioid system on melatonin secretion in pineal glands might act via opioid receptors on pinealocytes, whereas receptors located on nerve fibers might modulate the release of opioid peptides.

  16. 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

  17. Acute and Delayed Effects of Melatonin: Operational Significance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-03-01

    In mammals its primary sites circadian zeitgeber in humans have been much of production are the pineal gland and the retina, discussed (e.g. 5...into two not all blind individuals (Lockley, Skene , Arendt, components with melatonin may lead to more rapid submitted for publication). adaptation...1992; 75: 127-134. daylength has the potential to affect many if not all physiological systems, much further research is 13. Lockley SW, Skene DJ

  18. The influence of vasopressin deficiency and acute desmopressin administration on melatonin secretion in patients with central diabetes insipidus.

    PubMed

    Catrina, S B; Rotarus, R; Wivall, I-L; Coculescu, M; Brismar, K

    2004-01-01

    Melatonin secretion is modulated by the light-dark schedule, mainly through a sympathetic input to the pineal gland. Besides this, arginine vasopressin (AVP) has been found in the pineal glands of several animal species and there is experimental evidence that AVP modulates melatonin secretion in animals. However, the interaction between vasopressin and melatonin secretion in humans has not been systematically investigated. We proposed to study the nocturnal melatonin pattern in patients with central diabetes insipidus (CDI) who lack endogenous secretion of AVP, and the effect on their melatonin secretion of the agonist for V2 type receptors: desmopressin (1-Desamino [8-D Arginine] vasopressin). Plasma melatonin levels were measured in 14 patients with CDI, every 2 h starting from 22:00 h until 06:00 h, following iv injection of saline (day 1) and 3 microg desmopressin (day 2) at 20:00 h. The lights were turned off at 22:30 h and the samples were taken in a dim light. The plasma melatonin secretion pattern was normal in patients with CDI. Desmopressin at a dose 3 times higher than the antidiuretic one did not modify the melatonin levels or the time of the peak secretion. In conclusion melatonin secretion is not modulated by AVP in humans.

  19. Melatonin, the Hormone of Darkness: From Sleep Promotion to Ebola Treatment.

    PubMed

    Masters, Alina; Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu R; Seixas, Azizi; Girardin, Jean-Louis; McFarlane, Samy I

    Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the enigmatic pineal gland in response to darkness, hence the name hormone of darkness. It has generated a great deal of interest as a therapeutic modality for various diseases particularly sleep disorders. This pleiotropic molecule has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticoagulopathic properties in addition to its endothelial protective effects. In this article we discuss melatonin secretion and mechanisms of action as well as therapeutic rationale. We also highlight the potential utility of melatonin in the deadly modern-day Ebola epidemic.

  20. Melatonin, the Hormone of Darkness: From Sleep Promotion to Ebola Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Masters, Alina; Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu R; Seixas, Azizi; Girardin, Jean-Louis; McFarlane, Samy I.

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the enigmatic pineal gland in response to darkness, hence the name hormone of darkness. It has generated a great deal of interest as a therapeutic modality for various diseases particularly sleep disorders. This pleiotropic molecule has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticoagulopathic properties in addition to its endothelial protective effects. In this article we discuss melatonin secretion and mechanisms of action as well as therapeutic rationale. We also highlight the potential utility of melatonin in the deadly modern-day Ebola epidemic. PMID:25705578

  1. What do we (need to) know about the melatonin in crustaceans?

    PubMed

    Sainath, S B; Swetha, Ch; Reddy, P Sreenivasula

    2013-08-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxy-tryptamine) was first discovered from the bovine pineal gland extract in 1958. Since then, its synthesis, metabolism, physiological, and patho-physiological functions are well studied in vertebrates; there is an increasing recognition of melatonin in invertebrates and especially in crustaceans. The presence of melatonin in crustaceans is now well documented and some functional aspects in the framework of crustacean biology have been demonstrated. This review aims at giving a comprehensive overview of the various physiological events regulated by this pleiotropic hormone. Topics include: glucose homeostasis, regulation of reproduction, molting, limb regeneration, and antioxidant properties. Finally, perspectives on current and possible research are offered.

  2. Chronomics reveal and quantify circadian rhythmic melatonin in duodenum of rats

    PubMed Central

    Stebelova, K.; Zeman, M.; Cornélissen, G.; Bubenik, G.; Jozsa, R.; Hardeland, R.; Poeggeler, B.; Huether, G.; Olah, A.; Nagy, G.; Csernus, V.; Kazsaki, J.; Pan, W.; Otsuka, K.; Bakken, E. E.; Halberg, F.

    2008-01-01

    A circadian rhythm is documented in duodenal melatonin in rats, peaking 16.8 hours after light onset. This component is more readily detected after logl0-transformation of the data. It differs between male and female rats, females having a larger circadian amplitude and an earlier acrophase. The circadian rhythm in duodenal melatonin is also found to lead that of pineal melatonin. The results are qualified by the presence at the start of mapping of the second extremum of a double magnetic storm. PMID:16275496

  3. Sleep-anticipating effects of melatonin in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Gorfine, Tali; Assaf, Yaniv; Goshen-Gottstein, Yonatan; Yeshurun, Yaara; Zisapel, Nava

    2006-05-15

    Melatonin, the hormone produced nocturnally by the pineal gland, is an endogenous regulator of the sleep-wake cycle. The effects of melatonin on brain activities and their relation to induction of sleepiness were studied in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. Melatonin, but not placebo, reduced task-related activity in the rostro-medial aspect of the occipital cortex during a visual-search task and in the auditory cortex during a music task. These effects correlated with subjective measurements of fatigue. In addition, melatonin enhanced the activation in the left parahippocampus in an autobiographic memory task. Results demonstrate that melatonin modulates brain activity in a manner resembling actual sleep although subjects are fully awake. Furthermore, the fatigue inducing effect of melatonin on brain activity is essentially different from that of sleep deprivation thus revealing differences between fatigues related to the circadian sleep regulation as opposed to increased homeostatic sleep need. Our findings highlight the role of melatonin in priming sleep-associated brain activation patterns in anticipation of sleep.

  4. Can melatonin be used as a marker for neonatal sepsis?

    PubMed

    El-Mashad, Abdel-Rahman; Elmahdy, Heba; El-Dib, Mohamed; Elbatch, Manal; Aly, Hany

    2016-09-01

    Melatonin, an indolamine endogenously produced by pineal body, has important role as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic. Whether melatonin concentration changes in neonatal sepsis and whether it can be used as a marker of sepsis is unknown. The objective of this study is to evaluate melatonin concentration in the serum as a marker for neonatal sepsis and compare it to standard markers. We prospectively studied 40 neonates: 20 diagnosed with late neonatal sepsis and 20 healthy neonates as a control group. Markers of sepsis and melatonin concentration were compared between both groups. The sepsis groups had significantly increased immature to total neutrophils ratio (I/T ratio), and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (HsCRP), and decreased platelet count. Melatonin concentration was increased in sepsis group when compared to control group (27.2 ± 3.3 versus 11.4 ± 3.2 pg/ml, p = 0.001), and positively correlated with HsCRP (r = 0.952, p = 0.001) and I/T ratio (r = 0.326, p = 0.015). Combining melatonin to HsCRP increased sensitivity and specificity to detect neonatal sepsis to 97.3 and 93.3%, respectively. Endogenous melatonin concentration is increased in late neonatal sepsis and can potentially be used as a marker for sepsis especially when combined with CRP.

  5. Metabolic effects of melatonin on oxidative stress and diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Shigeru

    2005-07-01

    Melatonin, which is synthesized in the pineal gland and other tissues, has a variety of physiological, immunological, and biochemical functions. It is a direct scavenger of free radicals and has indirect antioxidant effects due to its stimulation of the expression and activity of antioxidative enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase, and NO synthase, in mammalian cells. Melatonin also reduces serum lipid levels in mammalian species, and helps to prevent oxidative stress in diabetic subjects. Long-term melatonin administration to diabetic rats reduced their hyperlipidemia and hyperinsulinemia, and restored their altered ratios of polyunsaturated fatty acid in serum and tissues. It was recently reported that melatonin enhanced insulin-receptor kinase and IRS-1 phosphorylation, suggesting the potential existence of signaling pathway cross-talk between melatonin and insulin. Because TNF-alpha has been shown to impair insulin action by suppressing insulin receptor-tyrosine kinase activity and its IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation in peripheral tissues such as skeletal muscle cells, it was speculated that melatonin might counteract TNF-alpha-associated insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. This review will focus on the physiological and metabolic effects of melatonin and highlight its potential use for the treatment of cholesterol/lipid and carbohydrate disorders.

  6. Pain control by melatonin: Physiological and pharmacological effects

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei-Wei; Zhang, Xia; Huang, Wen-Juan

    2016-01-01

    Pain and anxiety are the most common neurological responses to many harmful or noxious stimuli and their management clinically is often challenging. Many of the frequently used morphine-based drugs, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen, while efficient for treating pain, lead to patients suffering from several unwanted side effects. Melatonin, produced from the pineal body is a hormone of darkness, is involved in the control of circadian rhythms, and exerts a number of pharmacological effects. Melatonin mediates its actions through MT1/MT2 melatonin receptors on the cell membrane and also through RZR/ROR nuclear orphan receptors. Chronic pain syndromes are often associated with the desynchronization of circadian and biological rhythms, which also cause disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin-mediated analgesic effects seem to involve β-endorphins, GABA receptor, opioid receptors and the nitric oxide-arginine pathway. The effectiveness of melatonin as an analgesic and anxiolytic agent has been demonstrated in various animal models of pain and this led to the use of melatonin clinically in different pathological conditions and also in patients undergoing surgery. Melatonin was found to be effective in many of these cases as an anxiolytic and analgesic agent, indicating its clinical application. PMID:27698681

  7. In vitro effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan, indoleamines and leptin on arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) activity in pineal organ of the fish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) during different phases of the breeding cycle.

    PubMed

    Gupta, B B P; Yanthan, L; Singh, Ksh Manisana

    2010-08-01

    Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) is the rate-limiting enzyme of melatonin biosynthetic pathway. In vitro effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and indoleamines (serotonin, N-acetylserotonin and melatonin) were studied on AA-NAT activity in the pineal organ of the fish, C. gariepinus during different phases of its annual breeding cycle. Further, in vitro effects of leptin on AA-NAT activity in the pineal organ were studied in fed and fasted fishes during summer and winter seasons. Treatments with 5-HTP and indoleamines invariably stimulated pineal AA-NAT activity in a dose-dependent manner during all the phases. However, leptin increased AA-NAT activity in a dose-dependent manner only in the pineal organ of the fed fishes, but not of the fasted fishes irrespective of the seasons.

  8. A noradrenergic sensitive endogenous clock is present in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Wongchitrat, Prapimpun; Felder-Schmittbuhl, Marie-Paule; Govitrapong, Piyarat; Phansuwan-Pujito, Pansiri; Simonneaux, Valérie

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence of endogenous oscillations of Per1, Per2, Bmal1 and Rev-erbα genes in rat pineal explants and to investigate their regulation by adrenergic ligands. Our results show a significant and sustained rhythm of Per2,Bmal1 and Rev-erbα gene expression for up to 48 h in cultured pineal gland with a pattern similar to that observed in vivo. By contrast, the rhythms of Per1 and Aa-nat, the rate-limiting enzyme for melatonin synthesis, were strongly attenuated after 24 h in culture. Addition of the exogenous adrenergic agonist isoproterenol on cultured pineal glands induced a short-term increase in mRNA levels of Per1 and Aa-nat, but not those of Per2,Bmal1 and Rev-erbα. This study demonstrates that the rat pineal gland hosts a circadian oscillator as evidenced by the sustained, noradrenergic-independent, endogenous oscillations of Per2, Bmal1 and Rev-erbα mRNA levels in cultured tissues. Only expression of Per1 was stimulated by adrenergic ligands suggesting that, in vivo, the adrenergic input could synchronize the pineal clock by acting selectively on Per1.

  9. Both physiological and pharmacological levels of melatonin reduce DNA adduct formation induced by the carcinogen safrole.

    PubMed

    Tan, D; Reiter, R J; Chen, L D; Poeggeler, B; Manchester, L C; Barlow-Walden, L R

    1994-02-01

    Hepatic DNA adduct formation induced by the chemical carcinogen, safrole, was suppressed by both endogenous pineal melatonin release and by the exogenous administration of melatonin to rats. DNA damage after administration of of melatonin to rats. DNA damage after administration of 100 mg/kg safrole (i.p.) was measured by the P1 enhanced 32P-postlabeling analysis method. The RAL (relative adduct labeling) x 10(7) of carcinogen modified DNA in the liver of untreated controls and in safrole treated animals killed during the day, at night, after pinealectomy and pinealectomy plus melatonin injection (0.15 mg/kg x 4 or a total of 0.6 mg/kg) was 0, 12.6 +/- 0.75, 10.9 +/- 0.72, 13.6 +/- 1.12 and 5.7 +/- 0.53 respectively. For the same groups of animals, circulating melatonin levels at the termination of the study were 31 +/- 3, 29 +/- 2, 276 +/- 31, 24 +/- 1 and 13,950 +/- 1016 pg/ml serum respectively. The higher the melatonin concentration in the serum the lower was DNA adduct formation in the rat liver. Thus, high nocturnal levels of melatonin were protective against safrole-induced DNA damage. These findings indicate that the functional pineal gland plays an important role in oncostatic actions of carcinogens such as safrole. At physiological levels, melatonin seemed to prevent especially the formation of what was referred to as the N1 DNA adduct. Melatonin's ability to suppress DNA adduct formation may relate to its inhibitory effect on a mixed function oxidase, cytochrome p-450, and on the recently identified hydroxyl radical scavenging capacity of the indole. The oncostatic action of melatonin is also suggested by its nuclear accumulation and DNA stabilization characteristics. At pharmacological levels melatonin is extremely potent in preventing DNA modification induced by the chemical carcinogen, safrole.

  10. Aromatase inhibitor-induced joint pain: melatonin's role.

    PubMed

    Burk, R

    2008-12-01

    Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) enjoy increasing use in breast cancer adjuvant therapy. But the joint pain associated with AIs significantly reduces patient adherence despite the clear survival benefits of this class of drugs. Two clues point to a novel hypothesis for this unexplained symptom. First, realizing that joint pain is associated with virtually all estrogen-depleting breast cancer treatments suggests that the cause is broader than this particular class of drugs. Second, the strongly circadian nature of these symptoms suggests circadian hormone involvement. This puts new light on some existing research findings: that estrogen depletion can increase pineal melatonin, that the ability of light to suppress pineal melatonin is more variable than once thought, and that an altered melatonin cycle is associated with rheumatoid arthritis patients, where identical circadian symptoms present. It is hypothesized that when AIs decrease estrogen levels, light-induced melatonin suppression (LIMS) loses efficacy, leading to an abnormal melatonin cycle as seen in rheumatoid arthritis patients, producing (via mechanisms not yet understood) the symptoms of morning stiffness. Not all frequencies of retinal light are equally effective at suppressing pineal melatonin; most artificial lighting has less relevant spectral density than sunlight. This hypothesis predicts that some patients can suppress the circadian joint pain associated with aromatase inhibitors merely by getting sufficient hours of daily retinal sunlight. A single patient history is discussed, in which a series of treatments had no effect on AI joint pain, while extended exposure to sunlight produced a definitive elimination of symptoms the next morning. To conclusively demonstrate the role of melatonin, light-emitting diodes of an appropriate frequency were mounted on a cap for the patient to wear. If worn first thing in the morning, the cap sharply curtailed the duration of morning stiffness. If worn for a

  11. 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

  12. [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.

  13. 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%).

  14. Pineal Calcification Among Black Patients

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Kuang-Jaw

    1983-01-01

    A postmortem histopathological study was done in 233 pineal glands of black patients. Among them, 70 percent showed microscopic evidence of calcification in the pineal parenchyma. The frequency of calcification increased with age. However, the severity of calcification reached the peak in the 60 to 69 year old age group and then gradually declined. As compared to males, females had slightly higher frequency and reached the peak of severity in younger age groups. When pineal calcification was compared among patients with various malignancies, a higher frequency and more severe calcification were observed in patients with carcinoma of the prostate and the pancreas. A lower frequency and less severe calcification were observed in patients with carcinoma of the breast and the cervix. The results of this study emphasize the important role of sex hormone in genesis of pineal calcification. PMID:6631985

  15. Distribution, function and physiological role of melatonin in the lower gut

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chun-Qiu; Fichna, Jakub; Bashashati, Mohammad; Li, Yong-Yu; Storr, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Melatonin is a hormone with endocrine, paracrine and autocrine actions. It is involved in the regulation of multiple functions, including the control of the gastrointestinal (GI) system under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Since the gut contains at least 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland, a review of the functional importance of melatonin in the gut seems useful, especially in the context of recent clinical trials. Melatonin exerts its physiological effects through specific membrane receptors, named melatonin-1 receptor (MT1), MT2 and MT3. These receptors can be found in the gut and their involvement in the regulation of GI motility, inflammation and pain has been reported in numerous basic and clinical studies. Stable levels of melatonin in the lower gut that are unchanged following a pinealectomy suggest local synthesis and, furthermore, implicate physiological importance of endogenous melatonin in the GI tract. Presently, only a small number of human studies report possible beneficial and also possible harmful effects of melatonin in case reports and clinical trials. These human studies include patients with lower GI diseases, especially patients with irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. In this review, we summarize the presently available information on melatonin effects in the lower gut and discuss available in vitro and in vivo data. We furthermore aim to evaluate whether melatonin may be useful in future treatment of symptoms or diseases involving the lower gut. PMID:22025877

  16. Melatonin accelerates the process of wound repair in full-thickness incisional wounds.

    PubMed

    Pugazhenthi, Kamali; Kapoor, Mohit; Clarkson, Andrew N; Hall, Irene; Appleton, Ian

    2008-05-01

    The pineal gland hormone melatonin is known to have both anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Given this, we propose that melatonin is an ideal candidate to enhance the process of wound healing. The present study assessed the effects of exogenously administered melatonin (1.2 mg/kg intra-dermal), on scar formation using a full-thickness incisional rat model of dermal wound healing. Melatonin treatment significantly improved the quality of scarring, both in terms of maturity and orientation of collagen fibres. An increase in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity and therefore nitric oxide production is detrimental during inflammation but is favourable during granulation tissue formation. Melatonin treatment significantly decreased inducible NOS (iNOS) activity during the acute inflammatory phase but significantly increased iNOS activity during the resolving phase. Cyclooxygenase-2, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, was elevated in the melatonin-treated rats following wounding. In addition, melatonin treatment also accelerated the angiogenic process, increasing the formation of new blood vessels and elevating the level of vascular endothelial growth factor protein expression during granulation tissue formation. Melatonin treatment increased arginase activity (which generates proline, a building block for collagen synthesis) from earlier time points. The protein profiles of hemoxygenase-1 (HO-1) and HO-2 isoforms, vital participants in the repair process, were also up-regulated upon melatonin treatment. This study has therefore demonstrated, for the first time, that melatonin can significantly improve the quality of wound healing and scar formation.

  17. A physiologically based pharmacokinetics model for melatonin--effects of light and routes of administration.

    PubMed

    Peng, Henry T; Bouak, Fethi; Vartanian, Oshin; Cheung, Bob

    2013-12-15

    Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models were developed using MATLAB Simulink(®) to predict diurnal variations of endogenous melatonin with light as well as pharmacokinetics of exogenous melatonin via different routes of administration. The model was structured using whole body, including pineal and saliva compartments, and parameterized based on the literature values for endogenous melatonin. It was then optimized by including various intensities of light and various dosage and formulation of melatonin. The model predictions generally have a good fit with available experimental data as evaluated by mean squared errors and ratios between model-predicted and observed values considering large variations in melatonin secretion and pharmacokinetics as reported in the literature. It also demonstrates the capability and usefulness in simulating plasma and salivary concentrations of melatonin under different light conditions and the interaction of endogenous melatonin with the pharmacokinetics of exogenous melatonin. Given the mechanistic approach and programming flexibility of MATLAB Simulink(®), the PBPK model could provide predictions of endogenous melatonin rhythms and pharmacokinetic changes in response to environmental (light) and experimental (dosage and route of administration) conditions. Furthermore, the model may be used to optimize the combined treatment using light exposure and exogenous melatonin for maximal phase advances or delays. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Distribution, function and physiological role of melatonin in the lower gut.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Qiu; Fichna, Jakub; Bashashati, Mohammad; Li, Yong-Yu; Storr, Martin

    2011-09-14

    Melatonin is a hormone with endocrine, paracrine and autocrine actions. It is involved in the regulation of multiple functions, including the control of the gastrointestinal (GI) system under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Since the gut contains at least 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland, a review of the functional importance of melatonin in the gut seems useful, especially in the context of recent clinical trials. Melatonin exerts its physiological effects through specific membrane receptors, named melatonin-1 receptor (MT1), MT2 and MT3. These receptors can be found in the gut and their involvement in the regulation of GI motility, inflammation and pain has been reported in numerous basic and clinical studies. Stable levels of melatonin in the lower gut that are unchanged following a pinealectomy suggest local synthesis and, furthermore, implicate physiological importance of endogenous melatonin in the GI tract. Presently, only a small number of human studies report possible beneficial and also possible harmful effects of melatonin in case reports and clinical trials. These human studies include patients with lower GI diseases, especially patients with irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. In this review, we summarize the presently available information on melatonin effects in the lower gut and discuss available in vitro and in vivo data. We furthermore aim to evaluate whether melatonin may be useful in future treatment of symptoms or diseases involving the lower gut.

  19. Melatonin rhythms in European sea bass plasma and eye: influence of seasonal photoperiod and water temperature.

    PubMed

    García-Allegue, R; Madrid, J A; Sánchez-Vázquez, F J

    2001-08-01

    The transduction of seasonal information from the environment (i.e., photoperiod and water temperature) into melatonin rhythms was studied in sea bass. Plasma and ocular melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) was determined in autumn, winter, spring and summer (experiment 1) under natural culture conditions, and in the summer and winter solstices under both natural and "6-month out-of-phase" photoperiods (experiment 2). At each sampling, 48 sea bass were sacrificed at a rate of 6 fish every 3 hr and the level of melatonin was determined in plasma and eye cup samples by ELISA. In experiment 1, significant diel changes were observed in plasma melatonin, with nocturnal melatonin varying from 144 pg/mL (summer) to 23 pg/mL (autumn), while diurnal melatonin remained low, around 8 pg/mL throughout the year. In experiment 2, the photoperiod length was shown to control the duration of the nocturnal melatonin rise, while the water temperature determined the amplitude of the melatonin rhythm. Ocular melatonin peaked during daytime in autumn and winter, but no significant changes were detected in summer and spring. In conclusion, plasma melatonin rhythms in sea bass reflect the pineal capacity to integrate seasonal information and supply precise calendar information, which may synchronize different physiological processes such as annual reproduction and feeding rhythms.

  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. 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.

  2. The analgesic effects of exogenous melatonin in humans.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Lars Peter Holst

    2016-10-01

    The hormone, melatonin is produced with circadian rhythm by the pineal gland in humans. The melatonin rhythm provides an endogenous synchronizer, modulating e.g. blood pressure, body temperature, cortisol rhythm, sleep-awake-cycle, immune function and anti-oxidative defence. Interestingly, a number of experimental animal studies demonstrate significant dose-dependent anti-nociceptive effects of exogenous melatonin. Similarly, recent experimental- and clinical studies in humans indicate significant analgesic effects. In study I, we systematically reviewed all randomized studies investigating clinical effects of perioperative melatonin. Meta-analyses demonstrated significant analgesic and anxiolytic effects of melatonin in surgical patients, equating reductions of 20 mm and 19 mm, respectively on a VAS, compared with placebo. Profound heterogeneity between the included studies was, however, present. In study II, we aimed to investigate the analgesic, anti-hyperalgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of exogenous melatonin in a validated human inflammatory pain model, the human burn model. The study was performed as a randomized, double blind placebo-controlled crossover study. Primary outcomes were pain during the burn injury and areas of secondary hyperalgesia. No significant effects of exogenous melatonin were observed with respect to primary or secondary outcomes, compared to placebo. Study III and IV estimated the pharmacokinetic variables of exogenous melatonin. Oral melatonin demonstrated a tmax value of 41 minutes. Bioavailability of oral melatonin was only 3%. Elimination t1/2 were approximately 45 minutes following both oral and intravenous administration, respectively. High-dose intravenous melatonin was not associated with increased sedation, in terms of simple reaction times, compared to placebo. Similarly, no other adverse effects were reported. In Study V, we aimed to re-analyse data obtained from a randomized analgesic drug trial by a selection of

  3. 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

  4. Melatonin and the metabolic syndrome: a tool for effective therapy in obesity-associated abnormalities?

    PubMed

    Nduhirabandi, F; du Toit, E F; Lochner, A

    2012-06-01

    The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities associated with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Apart from its powerful antioxidant properties, the pineal gland hormone melatonin has recently attracted the interest of various investigators as a multifunctional molecule. Melatonin has been shown to have beneficial effects in cardiovascular disorders including ischaemic heart disease and hypertension. However, its role in cardiovascular risk factors including obesity and other related metabolic abnormalities is not yet established, particularly in humans. New emerging data show that melatonin may play an important role in body weight regulation and energy metabolism. This review will address the role of melatonin in the MetS focusing on its effects in obesity, insulin resistance and leptin resistance. The overall findings suggest that melatonin should be exploited as a therapeutic tool to prevent or reverse the harmful effects of obesity and its related metabolic disorders.

  5. Expression of the Otx2 homeobox gene in the developing mammalian brain: embryonic and adult expression in the pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Rath, Martin F; Muñoz, Estela; Ganguly, Surajit; Morin, Fabrice; Shi, Qiong; Klein, David C; Møller, Morten

    2006-04-01

    Otx2 is a vertebrate homeobox gene, which has been found to be essential for the development of rostral brain regions and appears to play a role in the development of retinal photoreceptor cells and pinealocytes. In this study, the temporal expression pattern of Otx2 was revealed in the rat brain, with special emphasis on the pineal gland throughout late embryonic and postnatal stages. Widespread high expression of Otx2 in the embryonic brain becomes progressively restricted in the adult to the pineal gland. Crx (cone-rod homeobox), a downstream target gene of Otx2, showed a pineal expression pattern similar to that of Otx2, although there was a distinct lag in time of onset. Otx2 protein was identified in pineal extracts and found to be localized in pinealocytes. Total pineal Otx2 mRNA did not show day-night variation, nor was it influenced by removal of the sympathetic input, indicating that the level of Otx2 mRNA appears to be independent of the photoneural input to the gland. Our results are consistent with the view that pineal expression of Otx2 is required for development and we hypothesize that it plays a role in the adult in controlling the expression of the cluster of genes associated with phototransduction and melatonin synthesis.

  6. Increased vascular permeability and nitric oxide production in response to hypoxia in the pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Kaur, C; Sivakumar, V; Lu, J; Ling, E A

    2007-04-01

    This study examined the factors that may be involved in altering the function of pineal gland in hypoxic conditions. Adult Wistar rats were subjected to hypoxia and the pineal gland was examined for the mRNA and protein expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), endothelial, neuronal and inducible nitric oxide synthase (eNOS, nNOS, iNOS) at 3 hr-14 days after hypoxic exposure by real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Upregulated mRNA and protein expression of HIF-1alpha, VEGF, eNOS, nNOS and iNOS was observed in response to hypoxia. VEGF concentrations as determined by enzyme immunoassay and nitric oxide (NO) production measured by colorimetric assay were significantly higher after hypoxic exposure when compared with the controls. Melatonin content of the pineal gland, as determined by ELISA, was significantly reduced after the hypoxic exposure. Dilated blood vessels expressing eNOS were observed in hypoxic rats. Cells immunoreactive for VEGF were identified as the astrocytes whereas those immunoreactive for iNOS were pinealocytes and macrophages. Our findings indicate that excess production of VEGF and NO in pineal gland in response to hypoxia may be involved in increased vascular permeability as evidenced by an enhanced leakage of rhodamine isothiocyanate (RhIC). The increased vascular permeability may allow free access of serum-derived substances in the pineal gland that may affect the secretory function of the pinealocytes. Administration of exogenous melatonin may be beneficial as it reduced VEGF concentration and NO production significantly in hypoxic rats, and leakage of RhIC was concomitantly reduced.

  7. Melatonin Natural Health Products and Supplements: Presence of Serotonin and Significant Variability of Melatonin Content.

    PubMed

    Erland, Lauren A E; Saxena, Praveen K

    2017-02-15

    Melatonin is an important neurohormone, which mediates circadian rhythms and the sleep cycle. As such, it is a popular and readily available supplement for the treatment and prevention of sleep-related disorders including insomnia and jet lag. This study quantified melatonin in 30 commercial supplements, comprising different brands and forms and screened supplements for the presence of serotonin. A total of 31 supplements were analyzed by ultraperformance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection for quantification of melatonin and serotonin. Presence of serotonin was confirmed through analysis by ultraperformance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry detection. Melatonin content was found to range from -83% to +478% of the labelled content. Additionally, lot-to-lot variable within a particular product varied by as much as 465%. This variability did not appear to be correlated with manufacturer or product type. Furthermore, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), a related indoleamine and controlled substance used in the treatment of several neurological disorders, was identified in eight of the supplements at levels of 1 to 75 μg. Melatonin content did not meet label within a 10% margin of the label claim in more than 71% of supplements and an additional 26% were found to contain serotonin. It is important that clinicians and patients have confidence in the quality of supplements used in the treatment of sleep disorders. To address this, manufacturers require increased controls to ensure melatonin supplements meet both their label claim, and also are free from contaminants, such as serotonin. A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 163.

  8. Expression of protein gene product 9.5, tyrosine hydroxylase and serotonin in the pineal gland of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Mang-Hung; Wei, I-Hua; Jiang-Shieh, Ya-Fen; Jou, Ming-Jia; Ko, Miau-Hwa; Chen, Hui-Min; Wu, Ching-Hsiang

    2008-03-01

    Hyperglycemia is a well-known factor in reducing nocturnal pineal melatonin production. However, the mechanism underlying diabetes-induced insufficiency of pineal melatonin has remained uncertain. This study was undertaken to examine the structure, innervation and functional activity of the pineal gland in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes in rats by immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and image analysis. The number of the pinealocytes and the volume of pineal were also estimated using stereologic quantification including the optical fractionator and Cavalieri's method. It has also shown a progressive reduction of the total area of the pineal gland and the nuclear size of pinealocytes beginning at 4 weeks of induced diabetes. Surprisingly, the immunoreactive intensities and protein amounts of serotonin (5-HT) and protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 in the pineal gland were progressively increased from 4 weeks of diabetes. Meanwhile, nerve fibers immunoreactive for PGP 9.5 had disappeared. Diabetes-induced neuropathy was observed in nerve fibers containing tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The affected nerve fibers appeared swollen and smooth in outline but they showed a distribution pattern, packing density and protein levels comparable to those of the age-matched control animals. Ultrastructural observations have revealed diabetes-induced deformity of Schwann cells and basal lamina, accumulation of synaptic vesicles and deprivation of the dense-core vesicles in the axon terminals and varicosities. The increase in immunoreactivities in 5-HT and PGP 9.5 and shrinkage of pineal gland in the diabetic rats suggest an inefficient enzyme activity of the pinealocytes. This coupled with the occurrence of anomalous TH nerve fibers, may lead to an ineffective sympathetic innervation of the pinealocytes resulting in reduced melatonin production in STZ-induced diabetes.

  9. 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.

  10. Pharmacological, molecular and functional characterization of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide/pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide receptors in the rat pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Simonneaux, V; Kienlen-Campard, P; Loeffler, J P; Basille, M; Gonzalez, B J; Vaudry, H; Robberecht, P; Pévet, P

    1998-08-01

    Melatonin secretion from the mammalian pineal gland is strongly stimulated by noradrenaline and also by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP). Three types of receptors for VIP and PACAP have been characterized so far: VIP1/PACAP receptors and VIP2/PACAP receptors, which possess similar high affinities for VIP and PACAP, and PACAP1 receptors which exhibit a 100-1000-fold higher affinity for PACAP. The aim of the present study was to characterize the receptor subtype(s) mediating the stimulatory effects of VIP and PACAP on melatonin synthesis in the rat pineal gland. Autoradiographic studies showed that PACAP and VIP were equally potent in displacing binding of radioiodinated PACAP27 from pineal sections. Amplification of pineal complementary DNAs by polymerase chain reaction using specific primers for the different receptor subtypes revealed that all three receptor messenger RNAs are expressed and that VIP1/PACAP receptor messenger RNA was predominant over VIP2/PACAP receptor messenger RNA. In vitro, VIP and PACAP stimulated melatonin synthesis with similar high potency and the effect of the two peptides were not additive. The selective VIP1/PACAP receptor agonists [R16]chicken secretin (1-25) and [K15, R16, L27]VIP(1-7)/growth hormone releasing factor(8-27) were significantly more potent than the selective VIP2/PACAP receptor agonist RO 25-1553 in stimulating melatonin secretion. The stimulatory effects of VIP and PACAP were similarly inhibited by the VIP1/PACAP antagonist [acetyl-His1, D-Phe2, K15, R16, L27]VIP(3-7)/growth hormone releasing factor(8-27). These data strongly suggest that VIP and PACAP exert a stimulatory effect on melatonin synthesis mainly through activation of a pineal VIP1/PACAP receptor subtype.

  11. Use of a newly developed technique to isolate rat pinealocytes and study the effects of adenosine agonists on melatonin production.

    PubMed

    Nicholls, J; Skene, D J; Hourani, S M

    1997-10-01

    Recent studies have suggested a role for adenosine in the regulation of rat pineal melatonin synthesis. The data, however, are conflicting and therefore the aim of this study was to characterize adenosine receptors more fully in vitro by using a range of selective adenosine agonists and the adenosine antagonist 8-sulphophenyltheophylline (8-SPT). A simple method for the mechanical separation of rat pinealocytes was developed. Pinealocytes were briefly (15 min) incubated with drugs followed by a 4 hr drug-free incubation period after which melatonin concentrations in the incubation medium were measured by radioimmunoassay. The beta-adrenoceptor agonist isoprenaline gave a dose-related increase in melatonin production, demonstrating that this pinealocyte preparation technique is suitable to evaluate the effect of drugs on pineal melatonin synthesis. Our results show that adenosine, N6-(phenylisopropyl)adenosine (R-PIA) and 2-p-(2-carboxethyl) phenethylamino-5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (CGS21680) did not affect melatonin synthesis alone or in combination with isoprenaline. However 5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA) (100 microM) potentiated the stimulatory effect of isoprenaline (3 microM) on pineal melatonin production and this effect appeared to be antagonized by 8-SPT (50 microM). These results are consistent with activation by NECA of an A2b adenosine receptor.

  12. 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.

  13. Melatonin and melatonergic drugs on sleep: possible mechanisms of action.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Venkataramanujan; Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu R; Trahkt, Ilya; Spence, D Warren; Poeggeler, Burkhard; Hardeland, Ruediger; Cardinali, Daniel P

    2009-01-01

    Pineal melatonin is synthesized and secreted in close association with the light/dark cycle. The temporal relationship between the nocturnal rise in melatonin secretion and the "opening of the sleep gate" (i.e., the increase in sleep propensity at the beginning of the night), coupled with the sleep-promoting effects of exogenous melatonin, suggest that melatonin is involved in the regulation of sleep. The sleep-promoting and sleep/wake rhythm regulating effects of melatonin are attributed to its action on MT(1) and MT(2) melatonin receptors present in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Animal experiments carried out in rats, cats, and monkeys have revealed that melatonin has the ability to reduce sleep onset time and increase sleep duration. However, clinical studies reveal inconsistent findings, with some of them reporting beneficial effects of melatonin on sleep, whereas in others only marginal effects are documented. Recently a prolonged-release 2-mg melatonin preparation (Circadin(TM)) was approved by the European Medicines Agency as a monotherapy for the short-term treatment of primary insomnia in patients who are aged 55 or above. Several melatonin derivatives have been shown to increase nonrapid eye movement (NREM) in rats and are of potential pharmacological importance. So far only one of these melatonin derivatives, ramelteon, has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be used as a sleep promoter. Ramelteon is a novel MT(1) and MT(2) melatonergic agonist that has specific effects on melatonin receptors in the SCN and is effective in promoting sleep in experimental animals such as cats and monkeys. In clinical trials, ramelteon reduced sleep onset latency and promoted sleep in patients with chronic insomnia, including an older adult population. Both melatonin and ramelteon promote sleep by regulating the sleep/wake rhythm through their actions on melatonin receptors in the SCN, a unique mechanism of action not

  14. [Cascade of biochemical events triggered by stimulation of adrenergic receptors in the rat pineal gland--from cell membrane to nucleus].

    PubMed

    Zawilska, J B; Rosiak, J; Nowak, J Z

    1999-01-01

    Pineal glands of various vertebrate species synthesize melatonin in a circadian rhythm generated by an endogenous pacemaker. The levels of melatonin and activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT: a penultimate and key regulatory enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis) are low during the light phase and high during the dark phase of any natural or imposed light-dark illumination cycle. The expression of AA-NAT gene in rat pineal gland is regulated by a photoneural system that acts through the adrenergic-cAMP-related mechanisms in pinealocytes. Concomitant stimulation by noradrenaline of beta 1- and alpha 1-adrenergic receptors, in a mechanism of "AND gate" activation, results in a large, 60-100-fold increase in intrapinealocyte cAMP level. The role of cAMP-dependent transcription factors CREB, ICER and Fra-2 in turning on and off the AA-NAT gene expression is discussed.

  15. Developmental Programming of Adult Disease: Reprogramming by Melatonin?

    PubMed

    Tain, You-Lin; Huang, Li-Tung; Hsu, Chien-Ning

    2017-02-16

    Adult-onset chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can originate from early life through so-called the "developmental origins of health and disease" (DOHaD) or "developmental programming". The DOHaD concept offers the "reprogramming" strategy to shift the treatment from adulthood to early life, before clinical disease is apparent. Melatonin, an endogenous indoleamine produced by the pineal gland, has pleiotropic bioactivities those are beneficial in a variety of human diseases. Emerging evidence support that melatonin is closely inter-related to other proposed mechanisms contributing to the developmental programming of a variety of chronic NCDs. Recent animal studies have begun to unravel the multifunctional roles of melatonin in many experimental models of developmental programming. Even though some progress has been made in research on melatonin as a reprogramming strategy to prevent DOHaD-related NCDs, future human studies should aim at filling the translational gap between animal models and clinical trials. Here, we review several key themes on the reprogramming effects of melatonin in DOHaD research. We have particularly focused on the following areas: mechanisms of developmental programming; the interrelationship between melatonin and mechanisms underlying developmental programming; pathophysiological roles of melatonin in pregnancy and fetal development; and insight provided by animal models to support melatonin as a reprogramming therapy. Rates of NCDs are increasing faster than anticipated all over the world. Hence, there is an urgent need to understand reprogramming mechanisms of melatonin and to translate experimental research into clinical practice for halting a growing list of DOHaD-related NCDs.

  16. Developmental Programming of Adult Disease: Reprogramming by Melatonin?

    PubMed Central

    Tain, You-Lin; Huang, Li-Tung; Hsu, Chien-Ning

    2017-01-01

    Adult-onset chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can originate from early life through so-called the “developmental origins of health and disease” (DOHaD) or “developmental programming”. The DOHaD concept offers the “reprogramming” strategy to shift the treatment from adulthood to early life, before clinical disease is apparent. Melatonin, an endogenous indoleamine produced by the pineal gland, has pleiotropic bioactivities those are beneficial in a variety of human diseases. Emerging evidence support that melatonin is closely inter-related to other proposed mechanisms contributing to the developmental programming of a variety of chronic NCDs. Recent animal studies have begun to unravel the multifunctional roles of melatonin in many experimental models of developmental programming. Even though some progress has been made in research on melatonin as a reprogramming strategy to prevent DOHaD-related NCDs, future human studies should aim at filling the translational gap between animal models and clinical trials. Here, we review several key themes on the reprogramming effects of melatonin in DOHaD research. We have particularly focused on the following areas: mechanisms of developmental programming; the interrelationship between melatonin and mechanisms underlying developmental programming; pathophysiological roles of melatonin in pregnancy and fetal development; and insight provided by animal models to support melatonin as a reprogramming therapy. Rates of NCDs are increasing faster than anticipated all over the world. Hence, there is an urgent need to understand reprogramming mechanisms of melatonin and to translate experimental research into clinical practice for halting a growing list of DOHaD-related NCDs. PMID:28212315

  17. Melatonin-insulin interactions in patients with metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Robeva, R; Kirilov, G; Tomova, A; Kumanov, Ph

    2008-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) as a group of risk factors is strongly associated with diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance plays a key role in the pathogenesis of MS. Recent studies have shown that melatonin may influence insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis. Therefore, the present study analyzed the relationships between the melatonin and the insulin in patients with MS and controls. The melatonin rhythm, insulin and lipid levels were studied in 40 subjects (21 patients and 19 controls) in reproductive age. The night melatonin-insulin ratio was correlated negatively with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = -0.370, p = 0.024) and total cholesterol (r = -0.348, p = 0.030), and positively with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (r = +0.414, p = 0.010). Night-time melatonin levels were related to night-time insulin concentrations (r = +0.313, p = 0.049). The correlation was pronounced in patients with MS (r = +0.640, p = 0.002), but did not reach statistical significance in controls (P > 0.05). In the patients with MS unlike the controls the night-day melatonin difference (%) correlated negatively with the fasting glucose (r = -0.494, p = 0.023) and positively to daily insulin (r = +0.536, p = 0.012). Our results show that melatonin-insulin interactions may exist in patients with MS, as well as relationships between melatonin-insulin ratio and the lipid profile. Pineal disturbances could influence the pathogenesis and the phenotype variations of the MS. Larger studies are needed to confirm or reject this hypothesis and to clarify the role of the melatonin in the metabolic disturbances.

  18. Peripheral and Central Effects of Melatonin on Blood Pressure Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Pechanova, Olga; Paulis, Ludovit; Simko, Fedor

    2014-01-01

    The pineal hormone, melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine), shows potent receptor-dependent and -independent actions, which participate in blood pressure regulation. The antihypertensive effect of melatonin was demonstrated in experimental and clinical hypertension. Receptor-dependent effects are mediated predominantly through MT1 and MT2 G-protein coupled receptors. The pleiotropic receptor-independent effects of melatonin with a possible impact on blood pressure involve the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging nature, activation and over-expression of several antioxidant enzymes or their protection from oxidative damage and the ability to increase the efficiency of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Besides the interaction with the vascular system, this indolamine may exert part of its antihypertensive action through its interaction with the central nervous system (CNS). The imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic vegetative system is an important pathophysiological disorder and therapeutic target in hypertension. Melatonin is protective in CNS on several different levels: It reduces free radical burden, improves endothelial dysfunction, reduces inflammation and shifts the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic system in favor of the parasympathetic system. The increased level of serum melatonin observed in some types of hypertension may be a counter-regulatory adaptive mechanism against the sympathetic overstimulation. Since melatonin acts favorably on different levels of hypertension, including organ protection and with minimal side effects, it could become regularly involved in the struggle against this widespread cardiovascular pathology. PMID:25299692

  19. 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.

  20. MT1 and MT2 Melatonin Receptors: A Therapeutic Perspective

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. 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

  2. Vascular endothelial cells and dysfunctions: role of melatonin.

    PubMed

    Rodella, Luigi Fabrizio; Favero, Gaia; Foglio, Eleonora; Rossini, Claudia; Castrezzati, Stefan