1: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Jan 18;91(2):787-91.
Pineal control of aging: effect of melatonin and pineal
grafting on aging mice.
Pierpaoli W, Regelson W.
Biancalana-Masera Foundation for the Aged (Convention I.N.R.C.A. and
University of Ancona), Neuroimmunomodulation Laboratory, Italy.
Dark-cycle, night administration of the pineal hormone melatonin in drinking
water to aging mice (15 months of age) prolongs survival of BALB/c females
from 23.8 to 28.1 months and preserves aspects of their youthful state.
Similar results were seen in New Zealand Black females beginning at 5 months
and C57BL/6 males beginning at 19 months. As melatonin is produced in
circadian fashion from the pineal, we grafted pineals from young 3- to
4-month-old donors into the thymus of 20-month-old syngeneic C57BL/6 male
recipients, and a 12% increase in survival was induced. Prolongation of
survival was also seen on pineal transplant to the thymus in C57BL/6, BALB/cJ,
and hybrid female mice at 16, 19, and 22 months. In all studies, the
endogenous pineal of grafted mice was left in situ. Pineal grafted aged mice
display a remarkable maintenance of thymic structure and cellularity.
Preservation of T-cell-mediated function, despite age, as measured by response
to oxazolone is seen. Other evidence suggests that melatonin and/or
pineal-related factors could produce their effects through an influence on
thyroid function. These data indicate that pineal influences have a place in
the physiologic regulation of aging.