Endotoxin-induced inflammation disturbs melatonin secretion in ewe

  • Herman, Andrzej Przemyslaw (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Wojtulewicz, Karolina (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Bochenek, Joanna (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Krawczynska, Agata (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Antushevich, Hanna (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Pawlina, Bartosz (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Zielinska-Gorska, Marlena (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Herman, Anna (Faculty of Cosmetology, The Academy of Cosmetics and Health Care) ;
  • Romanowicz, Katarzyna (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Tomaszewska-Zaremba, Dorota (The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences)
  • Received : 2017.03.13
  • Accepted : 2017.06.05
  • Published : 2017.12.01


Objective: The study examined the effect of intravenous administration of bacterial endotoxin-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) -on the nocturnal secretion of melatonin and on the expression of enzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway in the pineal gland of ewes, taking into account two different photoperiodic conditions: short-night (SN; n = 12) and long-night (LN; n = 12). Methods: In both experiments, animals (n = 12) were randomly divided into two groups: control (n = 6) and LPS-treated (n = 6) one. Two hours after sunset, animals received an injection of LPS or saline. Blood samples were collected starting one hour after sunset and continuing for 3 hours after the treatment. The ewes were euthanized 3 hours after LPS/saline treatment. The concentration of hormones in plasma was assayed by radioimmunoassay. In the pineal gland, the content of serotonin and its metabolite was determined by HPLC; whereas the expression of examined genes and protein was assayed using real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western Blot, respectively. Results: Endotoxin administration lowered (p<0.05) levels of circulating melatonin in animals from LN photoperiod only during the first hour after treatment, while in ewes from SN photoperiod only in the third hour after the injection. Inflammation more substantially suppressed biosynthesis of melatonin in ewes from SN photoperiod, which were also characterised by lower (p<0.05) cortisol concentrations after LPS treatment compared with animals from LN photoperiod. In the pineal gland of ewes subjected to SN photoperiod, LPS reduced (p<0.05) serotonin content and the expression of melatonin biosynthetic pathway enzymes, such as tryptophan hydroxylase and arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase. Pineal activity may be disturbed by circulating LPS and proinflammatory cytokines because the expression of mRNAs encoding their corresponding receptors was determined in this gland. Conclusion: The present study showed that peripheral inflammation reduces the secretion of melatonin, but this effect may be influenced by the photoperiod.


Melatonin;Inflammation;Lipopolysaccharide;Pineal Gland;Ewe


Supported by : Polish National Science Centre


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