In this paper, we summarize the results of in vitro studies showing that physiological concentrations of melatonin inhibit the norepinephrine-induced activation of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and cyclic AMP production in rat medial basal hypothalamus (MBH). Interestingly, a concentration of melatonin as low as 1 nM, which is roughly equivalent to the nocturnal serum physiological concentration of the hormone in the rat, significantly inhibit PGE2 and cyclic AMP production in the MBH. The suppressive effect of melatonin may be mediated by an inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, since the stimulatory effect of sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a spontaneous generator of NO, was not prevented by melatonin. Melatonin also inhibited NOS activity in rat MBH in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggest the existence of a new or an ancillary means by which melatonin may regulate the physiology of the hypothalamus-pituitary unit.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of pineal research|
|State||Published - Aug 1998|
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