About: Pinealocyte is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 1605 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 55609 citation(s).
Papers published on a yearly basis
01 Jul 2006-FEBS Journal
TL;DR: Melatonin is principally secreted at night and is centrally involved in sleep regulation, as well as in a number of other cyclical bodily activities, and its sleep-facilitating properties have been found to be useful for treating insomnia symptoms in elderly and depressive patients.
Abstract: Melatonin is a ubiquitous molecule and widely distributed in nature, with functional activity occurring in unicellular organisms, plants, fungi and animals. In most vertebrates, including humans, melatonin is synthesized primarily in the pineal gland and is regulated by the environmental light/dark cycle via the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Pinealocytes function as 'neuroendocrine transducers' to secrete melatonin during the dark phase of the light/dark cycle and, consequently, melatonin is often called the 'hormone of darkness'. Melatonin is principally secreted at night and is centrally involved in sleep regulation, as well as in a number of other cyclical bodily activities. Melatonin is exclusively involved in signaling the 'time of day' and 'time of year' (hence considered to help both clock and calendar functions) to all tissues and is thus considered to be the body's chronological pacemaker or 'Zeitgeber'. Synthesis of melatonin also occurs in other areas of the body, including the retina, the gastrointestinal tract, skin, bone marrow and in lymphocytes, from which it may influence other physiological functions through paracrine signaling. Melatonin has also been extracted from the seeds and leaves of a number of plants and its concentration in some of this material is several orders of magnitude higher than its night-time plasma value in humans. Melatonin participates in diverse physiological functions. In addition to its timekeeping functions, melatonin is an effective antioxidant which scavenges free radicals and up-regulates several antioxidant enzymes. It also has a strong antiapoptotic signaling function, an effect which it exerts even during ischemia. Melatonin's cytoprotective properties have practical implications in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Melatonin also has immune-enhancing and oncostatic properties. Its 'chronobiotic' properties have been shown to have value in treating various circadian rhythm sleep disorders, such as jet lag or shift-work sleep disorder. Melatonin acting as an 'internal sleep facilitator' promotes sleep, and melatonin's sleep-facilitating properties have been found to be useful for treating insomnia symptoms in elderly and depressive patients. A recently introduced melatonin analog, agomelatine, is also efficient for the treatment of major depressive disorder and bipolar affective disorder. Melatonin's role as a 'photoperiodic molecule' in seasonal reproduction has been established in photoperiodic species, although its regulatory influence in humans remains under investigation. Taken together, this evidence implicates melatonin in a broad range of effects with a significant regulatory influence over many of the body's physiological functions.
TL;DR: Experiments in vitro indicate that norepinephrine, not serotonin, regulates the activity of N-acetyl-transferase through a highly specific receptor.
Abstract: The activity of N-acetyltransferase in the rat pineal gland is more than 15 times higher at night than during the day. This circadian rhythm persists in complete darkness, or in blinded animals, and is suppressed in constant lighting. The N-acetyltransferase rhythm is 180 degrees out of phase with the serotonin rhythm and is similar to the norepinephrine and melatonin rhythms. Experiments in vitro indicate that norepinephrine, not serotonin, regulates the activity of N-acetyl-transferase through a highly specific receptor.
31 Dec 1994
TL;DR: The pineal in human physiology and pathology and the role of the pineal gland and melatonin in circadian rhythms are studied to determine its therapeutic potential and significance to human health.
Abstract: Foreword. Melatonin and the mammalian pineal gland. Structure of the pineal gland. Biochemistry of the pineal. Light-dark control of melatonin synthesis. Physiology of the pineal: role in photoperiodic seasonal functions. Role of the pineal gland and melatonin in circadian rhythms. The pineal in human physiology and pathology. Effects of melatonin: therapeutic potential and significance to human health. Target sites and mechanism of action of melatonin. Index.
01 Jun 2003-Pharmacological Reviews
TL;DR: The aim of this review is to gather together early and recent data on the effects of the nonadrenergic transmitters on modulation of melatonin synthesis, which reveals the variety of inputs that can be integrated by the pineal gland; what elements are crucial to deliver the very precise timing information to the organism.
Abstract: Melatonin, the major hormone produced by the pineal gland, displays characteristic daily and seasonal patterns of secretion. These robust and predictable rhythms in circulating melatonin are strong synchronizers for the expression of numerous physiological processes in photoperiodic species. In mammals, the nighttime production of melatonin is mainly driven by the circadian clock, situated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, which controls the release of norepinephrine from the dense pineal sympathetic afferents. The pivotal role of norepinephrine in the nocturnal stimulation of melatonin synthesis has been extensively dissected at the cellular and molecular levels. Besides the noradrenergic input, the presence of numerous other transmitters originating from various sources has been reported in the pineal gland. Many of these are neuropeptides and appear to contribute to the regulation of melatonin synthesis by modulating the effects of norepinephrine on pineal biochemistry. The aim of this review is firstly to update our knowledge of the cellular and molecular events underlying the noradrenergic control of melatonin synthesis; and secondly to gather together early and recent data on the effects of the nonadrenergic transmitters on modulation of melatonin synthesis. This information reveals the variety of inputs that can be integrated by the pineal gland; what elements are crucial to deliver the very precise timing information to the organism. This also clarifies the role of these various inputs in the seasonal variation of melatonin synthesis and their subsequent physiological function.
01 Jan 2002-The Journal of Neuroscience
TL;DR: The results indicate that the brain contains multiple, damped circadian oscillators outside the SCN, and the phasing of these oscillators to one another may play a critical role in coordinating brain activity and its adjustment to changes in the light cycle.
Abstract: The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the mammalian hypothalamus has been referred to as the master circadian pacemaker that drives daily rhythms in behavior and physiology. There is, however, evidence for extra-SCN circadian oscillators. Neural tissues cultured from rats carrying the Per-luciferase transgene were used to monitor the intrinsic Per1 expression patterns in different brain areas and their response to changes in the light cycle. Although many Per-expressing brain areas were arrhythmic in culture, 14 of the 27 areas examined were rhythmic. The pineal and pituitary glands both expressed rhythms that persisted for >3 d in vitro, with peak expression during the subjective night. Nuclei in the olfactory bulb and the ventral hypothalamus expressed rhythmicity with peak expression at night, whereas other brain areas were either weakly rhythmic and peaked at night, or arrhythmic. After a 6 hr advance or delay in the light cycle, the pineal, paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, and arcuate nucleus each adjusted the phase of their rhythmicity with different kinetics. Together, these results indicate that the brain contains multiple, damped circadian oscillators outside the SCN. The phasing of these oscillators to one another may play a critical role in coordinating brain activity and its adjustment to changes in the light cycle.
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