Presence of links between zinc and melatonin during the circadian cycle in old mice: Effects on thymic endocrine activity and on the survival

Eugenio Mocchegiani, Lory Santarelli, Alberto Tibaldi, Mario Muzzioli, Daniele Bulian, Katia Cipriano, Fabiola Olivieri, Nicola Fabris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Links between zinc and melatonin in old melatonin treated mice with a reconstitution of thymic functions have been recently documented. Concomitant increments of the nocturnal peaks of zinc and melatonin, with a synchronization of their circadian patterns, are achieved in old mice after melatonin treatment. A recovery of the nocturnal peaks of thymulin plasma levels and of the number of thymulin-secreting cells with a synchronization of their circadian patterns are also achieved. The existence of significant positive correlations between melatonin and zinc and between melatonin and thymulin or the number of thymulin-secreting cells supports the presence of links between zinc and melatonin also during the circadian cycle with a beneficial effect on thymic functions. The altered circadian pattern of corticosteron in old mice is normalized by melatonin. The existence of inverse correlations between corticosteron and melatonin, between corticosteron and zinc and between corticosteron and thymulin or the number of thymulin-secreting cells during the whole circadian cycle, suggests the involvement of glucocorticoids pathway in the melatonin thymic reconstitution, via zinc. The presence of an interplay among zinc, melatonin, glucocorticoids and thymulin may be, therefore, supported during the circadian cycle. 'In vitro' experiments from old thymic explants show a direct action of zinc, rather than melatonin, on thymulin production, further suggesting that the action of melatonin on the thymic efficiency is mediated by the zinc bioavailability. The beneficial effect of the links between zinc and melatonin on thymic functions during the circadian cycle, may be extended to a prolonged survival in aging, where, however, zinc may be more involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Volume86
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 1998

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Circadian cycle
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Melatonin
  • Survival
  • Thymulin
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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