1: J Neuroimmunol. 1994 Sep;53(2):189-201.  

The immuno-reconstituting effect of melatonin or pineal grafting and its relation to zinc pool in aging mice.

Mocchegiani E, Bulian D, Santarelli L, Tibaldi A, Muzzioli M, Pierpaoli W, Fabris N.

Gerontology Research Department, Italian National Institute for Research on Aging (INRCA), Ancona.

It has been demonstrated that melatonin, the main neuro-hormone of the pineal gland, affects thymic functions and the regulation of the immune system. In addition, experimental evidences indicate that melatonin can modulate zinc turnover. The knowledge that with advancing age both melatonin and zinc plasma levels decline, and that zinc supplementation in old mice is able to restore the reduced immunological functions, has prompted investigations on the effect of chronic melatonin treatment or pineal graft in old mice on the age-related decline of thymic endocrine activity, peripheral immune functions and zinc turnover. Both melatonin treatment in old mice and pineal graft into the thymus of old mice correct the reduced thymic endocrine activity and increase the weight of the thymus and its cellularity. A restoration of cortical thymic volume, as detected by the percentage of tissue in active proliferation, is also observed in old mice after both treatments. Thymocyte CD phenotype expression is also restored to young values. At peripheral level, recovery of peripheral blood lymphocyte number and of spleen cell subsets, with increased mitogen responsiveness also occurs. Melatonin treatment or pineal graft induce also a restoration of the altered zinc turnover in aged mice with an increment of the crude zinc balance from negative (-1.6 microgram/day/mouse) to positive value (+1.2 microgram/day/mouse), similar to that one of young mice (+1.4 microgram/day/mouse). The reduced zinc plasma level is restored to normal values. These findings support the idea that the effect of melatonin on thymic endocrine activity and peripheral immune functions may be mediated by the zinc pool.

PMID: 8071433 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Tutto sulla melatonina

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