Effect of melatonin on T/B cell activation and immune regulation in pinealectomy mice.
Melatonin is an indole neuroendocrine hormone that is mainly secreted by the pineal gland to regulate circadian rhythm, antioxidation, and immune regulation. Melatonin plays an important role in T cell-mediated immune responses against cancer, infections, and the development of many autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the immunomodulatory effects of melatonin on T/B cell activation in pinealectomy mice. The improved pinealectomy procedure for mice presented in this study is a good animal model to be used in follow-up studies on melatonin. After pinealectomy, the tissue removed was identified as the pineal body using HE staining. The effects of melatonin supplementation on T cell activation and activation-related changes to the MAPK/NF-κ B pathways were analyzed by flow cytometry and real-time PCR. We found that expression levels of Th1, Th2 and Th17-related cytokines in peripheral blood were lower in mice that had undergone pinealectomy, compared with normal mice. After melatonin supplementation, cytokine levels rapidly increased within a short period of time, which resulted in the gradual recovery of cytokine expression levels. Moreover, activation of T/B cells in mice was weakened and decreased after pineal gland removal. Melatonin was found to inhibit the expression of TLR3, p38, JNK, and MAPK/NF-κ B within a short period (2 weeks) of melatonin replenishment. This inhibition gradually weakened with time, since the degree of inhibition is negatively related with the dosage of melatonin. In conclusion, melatonin may regulate the activation of T/B cells, playing a critical role in the regulation of immune balance.
Life Sci. 2020 Feb 1;242:117191. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2019.117191. Epub 2019 Dec 19.