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      Rat brain opioid peptides-circadian rhythm is under control of melatonin

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          Most cited references 28

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          Generation of the melatonin endocrine message in mammals: a review of the complex regulation of melatonin synthesis by norepinephrine, peptides, and other pineal transmitters.

          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.
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            Opioids in chronic pain.

            The advance in our understanding of the biogenesis of various endogenous opioid peptides, their anatomical distribution, and the characteristics of the multiple receptors with which they interact open a new avenue for understanding the role of opioid peptide systems in chronic pain. The main groups of opioid peptides: enkephalins, dynorphins and beta-endorphin derive from proenkephalin, prodynorphin and proopiomelanocortin, respectively. Recently, a novel group of peptides has been discovered in the brain and named endomorphins, endomorphin-1 and -2. They are unique in comparison with other opioid peptides by atypical structure and high selectivity towards the mu-opioid receptor. Another group, which joined the endogenous opioid peptide family in the last few years is the pronociceptin system comprising the peptides derived from this prohormone, acting at ORL1 receptors. Three members of the opioid receptor family were cloned in the early 1990s, beginning with the mouse delta-opioid receptor (DOR1) and followed by cloning of mu-opioid receptor (MOR1) and kappa-opioid receptor (KOR1). These three receptors belong to the family of seven transmembrane G-protein coupled receptors, and share extensive structural homologies. These opioid receptor and peptide systems are significantly implicated in antinociceptive processes. They were found to be represented in the regions involved in nociception and pain. The effects of opioids in animal models of inflammatory pain have been studied in great detail. Inflammation in the periphery influences the central sites and changes the opioid action. Inflammation increased spinal potency of various opioid receptor agonists. In general, the antinociceptive potency of opioids is greater against various noxious stimuli in animals with peripheral inflammation than in control animals. Inflammation-induced enhancement of opioid antinociceptive potency is characteristic predominantly for mu opioid receptors, since morphine elicits a greater increase in spinal potency of mu- than of delta- and kappa-opioid receptor agonists. Enhancement of the potency of mu-opioid receptor agonists during inflammation could arise from the changes occurring in opioid receptors, predominantly in affinity or number of the mu-opioid receptors. Inflammation has been shown to alter the expression of several genes in the spinal cord dorsal horn. Several studies have demonstrated profound alterations in the spinal PDYN system when there is peripheral inflammation or chronic arthritis. Endogenous dynorphin biosynthesis also increases under various conditions associated with neuropathic pain following damage to the spinal cord and injury of peripheral nerves. Interestingly, morphine lacks potent analgesic efficacy in neuropathic pain. A vast body of clinical evidence suggests that neuropathic pain is not opioid-resistant but only that reduced sensitivity to systemic opioids is observed in this condition, and an increase in their dose is necessary in order to obtain adequate analgesia. Reduction of morphine antinociceptive potency was postulated to be due to the fact that nerve injury reduced the activity of spinal opioid receptors or opioid signal transduction. Our recent study with endogenous ligands of the mu-opioid receptor, endomorphins, further complicates the issue, since endomorphins appear to be effective in neuropathic pain. Identification of the involved differences may be of importance to the understanding of the molecular mechanism of opioid action in neuropathic pain, as well as to the development of better and more effective drugs for the treatment of neuropathic pain in humans.
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              Melatonin as a cytoskeletal modulator: implications for cell physiology and disease.

              The cytoskeleton is a phylogenetically well-preserved structure that plays a key role in cell physiology. Dynamic and differential changes in cytoskeletal organization occur in cellular processes according to the cell type and the specific function. In neurons, microtubules, microfilaments and intermediate filament (IF) rearrangements occur during axogenesis, and neurite formation which eventually differentiate into axons and dendrites to constitute synaptic patterns of connectivity. In epithelial cells, dynamic modifications occur in the three main cytoskeletal components and phosphorylation of cytoskeletal associated proteins takes place during the formation of the epithelial cell monolayer that eventually will transport water. In pathological processes such as neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases an abnormal cytoskeletal organization occurs. Melatonin, the main product secreted by pineal gland during dark phase of the photoperiod, is capable of influencing microfilament, microtubule and IF organization by acting as a cytoskeletal modulator. In this paper we will summarize the evidence which provides the data that melatonin regulates cytoskeletal organization and we describe recent findings, which indicate that melatonin effects on microfilament rearrangements in stress fibers are involved in the mechanism by which the indole synchronizes water transport in kidney-derived epithelial cells. In addition, we review recent data, which indicates that melatonin protects the neuro-cytoskeletal organization from damage caused by free radicals contributing to cell survival, in addition to the already described mechanism elicited by the indole to prevent apoptosis and to scavenge free radicals. Moreover, we discuss the implications of an altered cytoskeletal organization for neurodegenerative and psychiatric illnesses and its re-establishment by melatonin.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Neuropeptides
                Neuropeptides
                Elsevier BV
                01434179
                December 2007
                December 2007
                : 41
                : 6
                : 389-397
                Article
                10.1016/j.npep.2007.09.001
                © 2007

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