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J Exp Zool. 1984 Jan;229(1):41-7.

Negative correlation of age and the levels of pineal melatonin, pineal N-acetylserotonin, and serum melatonin in male rats.


Pineal concentrations of N-acetylserotonin and melatonin and serum levels of melatonin were studied in 3-wk-old (prepubertal), 8-wk-old (adult), and 17-mo-old (senile) male rats. They were adapted to a photoperiod of 12 h light/12 h darkness for a minimum of 1 wk and killed at mid-light and mid-dark. Melatonin and N-acetylserotonin were determined by radioimmunoassay. The concentrations of pineal N-acetylserotonin and melatonin were high in the dark period and low in the light period. Statistical analysis indicated that pineal N-acetylserotonin and melatonin levels per 100 gm body weight declined with age. Similarly, serum melatonin demonstrated diurnal changes in all the age groups studied. In addition, there was a significant reduction in the levels of serum melatonin with age. The parallel patterns of decrease in pineal and serum melatonin levels with age suggest a decline in pineal secretion of melatonin in the older animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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