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Special Issue "Melatonin Receptors and Reproduction"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 2168

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Felipe Martinez-Pastor
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
INDEGSAL and Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), Universidad de León, Leon, Spain
Interests: sperm biology; oxidative stress; seminal plasma; sperm chromatin; flow cytometry; sperm motility; ruminants reproduction; boar reproduction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina Soriano-Úbeda
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Animal Health and Cattle Development (INDEGSAL), University of León, 24071 León, Spain
Interests: sperm biology; sperm chromatin; flow cytometry; sperm motility; boar reproduction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Melatonin is a multifunctional molecule that influences many biological processes. There is a thriving field investigating its effects on reproduction. Melatonin relays photoperiodic cues, coordinating many physiological functions and acting as a paracrine signal and potent antioxidant. Whereas the pineal gland produces circulating melatonin that regulates the reproductive seasonality by modulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis, many authors have identified local functions in the reproductive system. Many tissues, including reproductive tissues, synthesize melatonin with paracrine activity. In the reproductive tract, melatonin also forms part of many secretions of reproductive interest, such as Sertoli cells secretions, seminal plasma, oviductal fluid, and follicular fluids.

The effects of melatonin, both circulatory and locally produced, have many potential functions in the reproductive tract and gamete functionality, from protective to regulatory. Melatonin also has a potent antioxidant effect, and many probed and putative receptors are present in these tissues, which could influence sperm chemotaxis, modulate its capacitation, and affect oocyte and embryo development. With so many effects, melatonin has attracted attention for its practical applications, with a great potential for contributing to artificial reproductive technologies.

Dr. Felipe Martinez-Pastor
Dr. Cristina Soriano-Úbeda
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • melatonin
  • melatonin synthesis
  • melatonin receptors
  • reproduction
  • spermatozoon
  • oocyte
  • ovary
  • oviduct
  • follicular fluid
  • reproductive tract

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Bos taurus and Cervus elaphus as Non-Seasonal/Seasonal Models for the Role of Melatonin Receptors in the Spermatozoon
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(11), 6284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23116284 - 03 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Melatonin is crucial in reproduction due its antioxidant, hormonal, and paracrine action. Melatonin membrane receptors (MT1/MT2) have been confirmed on spermatozoa from several species, but functionality studies are scarce. To clarify their role in ruminants as reproductive models, bull [...] Read more.
Melatonin is crucial in reproduction due its antioxidant, hormonal, and paracrine action. Melatonin membrane receptors (MT1/MT2) have been confirmed on spermatozoa from several species, but functionality studies are scarce. To clarify their role in ruminants as reproductive models, bull (Bos taurus, non-seasonal) and red deer (Cervus elaphus, highly seasonal) spermatozoa were analyzed after 4 h of incubation (38 °C, capacitating media) in 10 nM melatonin, MT1/MT2 agonists (phenylmelatonin and 8M-PDOT), and antagonists (luzindole and 4P-PDOT). Motility and functionality (flow cytometry: viability, intracellular calcium, capacitation status, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and acrosomal and mitochondrial status) were assessed. In bull, MT1 was related to sperm viability preservation, whereas MT2 could modulate cell functionality to prevent excess ROS produced by the mitochondria; this action could have a role in modulating sperm capacitation. Deer spermatozoa showed resistance to melatonin and receptor activation, possibly because the samples were of epididymal origin and collected at the breeding season’s peak, with high circulating melatonin. However, receptors could be involved in mitochondrial protection. Therefore, melatonin receptors are functional in the spermatozoa from bull and deer, with different activities. These species offer models differing from traditional laboratory experimental animals on the role of melatonin in sperm biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin Receptors and Reproduction)
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Article
New Insight on the In Vitro Effects of Melatonin in Preserving Human Sperm Quality
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 5128; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23095128 - 04 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 509
Abstract
Spermatozoa (SPZ) are sensitive to stressful conditions, particularly oxidative stress, which alters their quality; thus, the use of protective molecules as an antioxidant is encouraged. Herein, we used melatonin (MLT) to investigate its in vitro effects on human sperm parameters under conditions of [...] Read more.
Spermatozoa (SPZ) are sensitive to stressful conditions, particularly oxidative stress, which alters their quality; thus, the use of protective molecules as an antioxidant is encouraged. Herein, we used melatonin (MLT) to investigate its in vitro effects on human sperm parameters under conditions of oxidative stress induced by cadmium (Cd). Fifteen human semen samples were divided into control, Cd-treated, MLT-treated, and Cd+MLT-treated groups and analyzed after 30 min, 6 h, and 24 h of exposure. Results showed a time-dependent decrease in SPZ motility, DNA integrity, and increased apoptosis induced by oxidative stress, and these effects were counteracted by MLT co-treatment. Based on these data, we further explored additional parameters just at 24 h. The induced oxidative stress, highlighted by the increased lipid peroxidation, reduced the percentage of SPZ able to undertake acrosome reaction and altered the levels and localization of some protein markers of motility (PREP, RSPH6A), morphology (DAAM1), and acrosome membrane (PTMA, IAM38); all these effects were counteracted by MLT co-treatment. Interestingly, MLT alone was able to ameliorate motility at 30 min of incubation compared to the control, while at 24 h, it prevented the physiological alteration in terms of motility, DNA integrity, and apoptosis. Collectively, the data encourage MLT use as an integrative molecule to ameliorate human gamete quality when compromised by stressful conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin Receptors and Reproduction)
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Article
Effect of Exogenous Melatonin on the Development of Mice Ovarian Follicles and Follicular Angiogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222011262 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
In mammalian, the periodic growth and development of ovarian follicles constitutes the physiological basis of female estrus and ovulation. Concomitantly, follicular angiogenesis exerts a pivotal role in the growth of ovarian follicles. Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, Mel), exists in follicle fluid, was suggested to affect [...] Read more.
In mammalian, the periodic growth and development of ovarian follicles constitutes the physiological basis of female estrus and ovulation. Concomitantly, follicular angiogenesis exerts a pivotal role in the growth of ovarian follicles. Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, Mel), exists in follicle fluid, was suggested to affect the development of follicles and angiogenesis. This research was conducted to investigate the effects and mechanisms of Mel on the development of ovarian follicles and its angiogenesis. In total, 40 ICR mice at age of 3 weeks were allocated into four groups at liberty: control, Mel, FSH and FSH + Mel for a 12-day trial. Ovaries were collected at 8:00 a.m. on Day 13 for detecting the development of ovarian follicles and angiogenesis. Results indicated that Mel promoted the development of ovarian follicles of 50–250 μm (secondary follicles) and periphery angiogenesis, while FSH remarkably increased the number of antral follicles and periphery angiogenesis. Mechanically, Mel and FSH may regulate the expression of VEGF and antioxidant enzymes in different follicular stages. In conclusion, Mel primarily acted on the secondary follicles, while FSH mainly promoted the development of antral follicles. They both conduced to related periphery angiogenesis by increasing the expression of VEGF. These findings may provide new targets for the regulating of follicular development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin Receptors and Reproduction)
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