Pineal melatonin synthesis is altered in Period1 deficient mice

Christ, E; Pfeffer, M; Korf, H W; von Gall, C (2010). Pineal melatonin synthesis is altered in Period1 deficient mice. Neuroscience, 171(2), pp. 398-406. Oxford: Elsevier 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.09.009

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Melatonin is an important endocrine signal for darkness in mammals. Transcriptional activation of the arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase gene encoding for the penultimate enzyme in melatonin synthesis drives the daily rhythm of the hormone in the pineal gland of rodents. Rhythmic arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression is controlled by the cAMP-signal transduction pathway and involves the activation of ?-adrenergic receptors and the inducible cAMP early repressor. In addition, the rat arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase promoter contains an E-box element which can interact with clock proteins. Moreover, the pineal gland of mice shows a circadian rhythm in clock proteins such as the transcriptional repressor Period1, which has been shown to control rhythmic gene expression in a variety of tissues. However, the role of Period1 in the regulation of pineal melatonin synthesis is still unknown. Therefore, circadian rhythms in arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase, ?-adrenergic receptor, and inducible cAMP early repressor mRNA levels (real time PCR), arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase enzyme activity (radiometric assay) and melatonin concentration radio immuno assay (RIA) were analyzed in the pineal gland of mice with a targeted deletion of the Period1 gene (Per1-/-) and the corresponding wildtype. In Per1-/- the amplitude in arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression was significantly elevated as compared to wildtype. In contrast, ?-adrenergic receptor and inducible cAMP early repressor mRNA levels were not affected by the Period1-deficiency. This indicates that the molecular clockwork alters the amplitude of arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression. In vitro, pineal glands of Per1-/- mice showed a day night difference in arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase expression with high levels at night. This suggests that a deficient in Period1 elicits similar effects as the activation of the cAMP-signal transduction pathway in wildtype mice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition

UniBE Contributor:

Christ, Emanuel








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:14

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 19:17

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URI: (FactScience: 207231)

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