Melatonin enhancement of splenocyte proliferation is attenuated by luzindole, a melatonin receptor antagonist.
In addition to marked seasonal changes in reproductive, metabolic, and other physiological functions, many vertebrate species undergo seasonal changes in immune function. Despite growing evidence that photoperiod mediates seasonal changes in immune function, little is known regarding the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying these changes. Increased immunity in short days is hypothesized to be due to the increase in the duration of nightly melatonin secretion, and recent studies indicate that melatonin acts directly on immune cells to enhance immune parameters. The present study examined the contribution of melatonin receptors in mediating the enhancement of splenocyte proliferation in response to the T cell mitogen Concanavalin A in mice. The administration of luzindole, a high-affinity melatonin receptor antagonist, either in vitro or in vivo significantly attenuated the ability of in vitro melatonin to enhance splenic lymphocyte proliferation during the day or night. In the absence of melatonin or luzindole, splenocyte proliferation was intrinsically higher during the night than during the day. In the absence of melatonin administration, luzindole reduced the ability of spleen cells to proliferate during the night, when endogenous melatonin concentrations are naturally high. This effect was not observed during the day, when melatonin concentrations are low. Taken together, these results suggest that melatonin enhancement of splenocyte proliferation is mediated directly by melatonin receptors on splenocytes and that there is diurnal variation in splenocyte proliferation in mice that is also mediated by splenic melatonin receptors.
Drazen, DL; Bilu, D; Bilbo, SD; Nelson, RJ
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)