The study was designed to determine the effect of proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin- (IL-) 1β, on melatonin release and expression enzymes essential for this hormone synthesis: arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) in ovine pineal gland, taking into account the immune status of animals before sacrificing. Ewes were injected by lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 400 ng/kg) or saline, two hours after sunset during short day period (December). Animals were euthanized three hours after the injection. Next, the pineal glands were collected and divided into four explants. The explants were incubated with (1) medium 199 (control explants), (2) norepinephrine (NE; 10 μM), (3) IL-1β (75 pg/mL), or (4) NE + IL-1β. It was found that IL-1β abolished (P < 0.05) NE-induced increase in melatonin release. Treatment with IL-1β also reduced (P < 0.05) expression of AA-NAT enzyme compared to NE-treated explants. There was no effect of NE or IL-1β treatment on gene expression of HIOMT; however, the pineal fragments isolated from LPS-treated animals were characterized by elevated (P < 0.05) expression of HIOMT mRNA and protein compared to the explants from saline-treated ewes. Our study proves that IL-1β suppresses melatonin secretion and its action seems to be targeted on the reduction of pineal AA-NAT protein expression.
Herman, A. P., Bochenek, J., Skipor, J., Król, K., Krawczyńska, A., Antushevich, H., … Tomaszewska-Zaremba, D. (2015). Interleukin-1β Modulates Melatonin Secretion in Ovine Pineal Gland: Ex Vivo Study. BioMed Research International, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/526464