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Molecules. 2018 Mar 20;23(3). pii: E703. doi: 10.3390/molecules23030703.

Association of Melatonin Production with Seasonal Changes, Low Temperature, and Immuno-Responses in Hamsters.

Xu X1, Liu X2, Ma S3, Xu Y4, Xu Y5, Guo X6, Li D7.

Author information

1
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China. xuxy@bucm.edu.cn.
2
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China. liuxy1088@sina.com.
3
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China. mashuran64@sina.com.
4
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China. xuya@bucm.edu.cn.
5
World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Beijing 100101, China. 7384321@163.com.
6
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China. guoxiazhen@126.com.
7
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China. Lidekui@bucm.edu.cn.

Abstract

Seasonal changes impact the melatonin production and immuno-activities in vertebrates. This is believed due to the photoperiodic alterations of the different seasons which impact the functions of pineal gland. The short photoperiod promotes pineal melatonin production. As a result, during the winter, animals have significantly higher levels of melatonin than in summer. However, the seasonal changes also include temperature changes. This factor has never been systemically investigated in animals. In the current study, we observed that increased temperature had limited influence on melatonin production. In contrast, cold temperature is the major factor to induce melatonin production in hamsters. Cold temperature per se can upregulate the expressions of melatonin synthetic gene AANAT and ASMT, which are the important enzymes for melatonin biosynthesis. The elevated melatonin levels induced by the cold exposure in hamster in turn, improve the immuno-responses of the animals with increased levels of IL1, 6, and 10 as well CD3. In addition, melatonin as a potent antioxidant and thermogenic agent would improve the survival chance of animals during cold weather.

KEYWORDS:

AANAT; ASMT; cold weather; hamster; immunity response; melatonin

PMID:
29558391
PMCID:
PMC6017911
DOI:
10.3390/molecules23030703
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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