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

Activation of melatonin receptor sites retarded the depletion of norepinephrine following inhibition of synthesis in the C3H/HeN mouse hypothalamus.

The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of activation of melatonin receptor sites on the activity of noradrenergic neurons in the C3H/HeN mouse brain. Changes in noradrenergic activity were assessed by measuring norepinephrine (NE) levels in the hypothalamus, frontal cortex, and hippocampus following inhibition of NE synthesis with alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine (alpha-MpT) (300 mg/kg, i.p., 2 h). 6-Chloromelatonin (1-30 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly retarded the alpha-MpT-induced decrease in NE levels in the hypothalamus, but not in hippocampus and frontal cortex. This effect was observed at 30 min and 60 min after 6-chloromelatonin administration and was dose dependent. At noon, when the levels of endogenous melatonin are low, the melatonin receptor antagonist luzindole (30 mg/kg, i.p., 30 min) did not affect the depletion of NE by alpha-MpT; however, it (1-30 mg/kg) completely antagonized the 6-chloromelatonin-induced reduction of NE depletion elicited by alpha-MpT in hypothalamus. These results suggest that activation of melatonin receptor sites in brain of C3H/HeN mouse retarded the depletion of NE elicited by alpha-MpT. At midnight, when the levels of melatonin are high, luzindole (30 mg/kg) significantly accelerated the depletion of NE by alpha-MpT in hypothalamus, but not in frontal cortex or hippocampus, suggesting activation of melatonin receptor sites by endogenous melatonin. We conclude that activation of melatonin receptor sites in C3H/HeN mouse brain by endogenous melatonin inhibits the activity of noradrenergic neurons innervating the hypothalamus.[1]


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