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

Interferon-gamma independent oxidation of melatonin by macrophages.

Mononuclear phagocytes appear to synthesize kynurenine-like products from the oxidation of biologically active indole compounds including melatonin, catalyzed by interferon (IFN)-gamma-inducible enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). Concanavalin A (Con A) is a plant lectin that induces interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production by T cells. In this study we investigated whether Con A-primed peritoneal macrophages are able to oxidize melatonin to N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AFMK). The AFMK production was accompanied by chemiluminescence. It was found that Con A-primed but not resident macrophages produce AFMK. Surprisingly, Con A-primed macrophages from IFN-gamma-deficient mice were as effective as macrophages from IFN-gamma-sufficient mice in oxidizing melatonin. Moreover, addition of an inhibitor of IDO (1-methyltryptophan) did not affect melatonin oxidation. Con A-primed but not resident macrophages have a significant content of myeloperoxidase ( MPO) and inhibition of MPO by azide completely blocked chemiluminescence and AFMK production. Thus, our findings provide evidence that melatonin oxidation by macrophages may occur through a mechanism dependent of MPO and independent of IFN-gamma and IDO activity.[1]


  1. Interferon-gamma independent oxidation of melatonin by macrophages. Rodrigues, M.R., Rodriguez, D., Henrique Catalani, L., Russo, M., Campa, A. J. Pineal Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
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