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Int J Immunopharmacol. 1989;11(5):567-73.

Pinealectomy inhibits interleukin-2 production and natural killer activity in mice.

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Department of Experimental Medicine, II University of Rome, Italy.


Four--five-week-old C57BL/6 mice were surgically pinealectomized. At different time intervals after surgery their spleens were removed and assayed for interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and natural killer (NK) cell activity. Non-operated and sham-operated mice were used as controls. The present results indicate that pinealectomy significantly reduced IL-2 production and NK cell activity, in comparison to sham-operated mice. These effects seem to be related to the lack of melatonin. In fact the subcutaneous injection of this hormone (50 or 100 mg/kg at 5 p.m.) in pinealectomized mice was able to restore IL-2 production and NK cell activity. However, chronic treatment with melatonin (10, 20 and 50 mg/kg for 9 consecutive days) failed to reverse the impairment of the immune responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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