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Molecules 2018, 23(3), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23030703

Association of Melatonin Production with Seasonal Changes, Low Temperature, and Immuno-Responses in Hamsters

1
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
2
World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dun-Xian Tan
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract

Seasonal changes impact the melatonin production and immuno-activities in vertebrates. This is believed due to the photoperiodic alterations of the different seasons which impact the functions of pineal gland. The short photoperiod promotes pineal melatonin production. As a result, during the winter, animals have significantly higher levels of melatonin than in summer. However, the seasonal changes also include temperature changes. This factor has never been systemically investigated in animals. In the current study, we observed that increased temperature had limited influence on melatonin production. In contrast, cold temperature is the major factor to induce melatonin production in hamsters. Cold temperature per se can upregulate the expressions of melatonin synthetic gene AANAT and ASMT, which are the important enzymes for melatonin biosynthesis. The elevated melatonin levels induced by the cold exposure in hamster in turn, improve the immuno-responses of the animals with increased levels of IL1, 6, and 10 as well CD3. In addition, melatonin as a potent antioxidant and thermogenic agent would improve the survival chance of animals during cold weather. View Full-Text
Keywords: melatonin; hamster; immunity response; AANAT; ASMT; cold weather melatonin; hamster; immunity response; AANAT; ASMT; cold weather
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Xu, X.; Liu, X.; Ma, S.; Xu, Y.; Xu, Y.; Guo, X.; Li, D. Association of Melatonin Production with Seasonal Changes, Low Temperature, and Immuno-Responses in Hamsters. Molecules 2018, 23, 703.

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