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Melatonin and Pancreatic Islets: Interrelationships between Melatonin, Insulin and Glucagon
Saxon Academy of Sciences, Leipzig 04107, Germany
Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale) 06108, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2013; in revised form: 7 March 2013 / Accepted: 11 March 2013 / Published: 27 March 2013
Abstract: The pineal hormone melatonin exerts its influence in the periphery through activation of two specific trans-membrane receptors: MT1 and MT2. Both isoforms are expressed in the islet of Langerhans and are involved in the modulation of insulin secretion from β-cells and in glucagon secretion from α-cells. De-synchrony of receptor signaling may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. This notion has recently been supported by genome-wide association studies identifying particularly the MT2 as a risk factor for this rapidly spreading metabolic disturbance. Since melatonin is secreted in a clearly diurnal fashion, it is safe to assume that it also has a diurnal impact on the blood-glucose-regulating function of the islet. This factor has hitherto been underestimated; the disruption of diurnal signaling within the islet may be one of the most important mechanisms leading to metabolic disturbances. The study of melatonin–insulin interactions in diabetic rat models has revealed an inverse relationship: an increase in melatonin levels leads to a down-regulation of insulin secretion and vice versa. Elucidation of the possible inverse interrelationship in man may open new avenues in the therapy of diabetes.
Keywords: melatonin; MT1 and MT2 receptors; insulin; glucagon; type 1 and type 2 diabetes
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Peschke, E.; Bähr, I.; Mühlbauer, E. Melatonin and Pancreatic Islets: Interrelationships between Melatonin, Insulin and Glucagon. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 6981-7015.
Peschke E, Bähr I, Mühlbauer E. Melatonin and Pancreatic Islets: Interrelationships between Melatonin, Insulin and Glucagon. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(4):6981-7015.
Peschke, Elmar; Bähr, Ina; Mühlbauer, Eckhard. 2013. "Melatonin and Pancreatic Islets: Interrelationships between Melatonin, Insulin and Glucagon." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 4: 6981-7015.