Circadian melatonin and young-to-old pineal grafting
postpone aging and maintain juvenile conditions of reproductive functions in
mice and rats.
Pierpaoli W, Bulian D, Dall'Ara A, Marchetti B, Gallo F, Morale MC, Tirolo
C, Testa N.
INTERBION Foundation for Basic Biomedical Research, Bellinzoma, Switzerland.
Chronic, night administration of melatonin to aging mice and transplantation
of a young pineal gland into the thymic rudiment of older mice and rats have
been studied with the aim of evaluating their effects on aging of gonadal,
sexual, and reproductive functions. Both melatonin administration and
young-to-old pineal grafting positively affect size and function of testes and
maintenance of juvenile hippocampal and testicular LHRH-receptors and
beta-adrenergic receptors in the tests of old rats and mice. These results
demonstrate that a pineal-directed circadian function and cyclicity is
fundamental for the regulation of sexual, reproductive physiology, and that
proper intervention with melatonin may potentially postpone aging of both
neural and gonadal sexual function.