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Author Notes:

Corresponding author. Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Disorders Program, Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA; gtosini@msm.edu

Subjects:

Research Funding:

Research in the authors’ laboratories is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health [R01 NS43459, R21 EY028821, R01 EY022216 (GT); R01 EY004864 (PMI), P30 EY006360 (PMI)], and Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. (RPB) (PMI).

PMI is a recipient of Senior Scientific Investigator Award from RPB.

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • melatonin
  • circadian rhythms
  • dopamine
  • glaucoma
  • photoreceptor degeneration
  • retina
  • ARYLALKYLAMINE N-ACETYLTRANSFERASE
  • TRYPTOPHAN-HYDROXYLASE ACTIVITY
  • XENOPUS-LAEVIS RETINA
  • BRAIN ARYL ACYLAMIDASE
  • GUINEA-PIG RETINA
  • CIRCADIAN CLOCK
  • MESSENGER-RNA
  • RAT RETINA
  • INTRAOCULAR-PRESSURE
  • PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS

Melatonin: An underappreciated player in retinal physiology and pathophysiology

Tools:

Journal Title:

Experimental Eye Research

Volume:

Volume 103

Publisher:

, Pages 82-89

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review

Abstract:

In the vertebrate retina, melatonin is synthesized by the photoreceptors with high levels of melatonin at night and lower levels during the day. Melatonin exerts its influence by interacting with a family of G-protein-coupled receptors that are negatively coupled with adenylyl cyclase. Melatonin receptors belonging to the subtypes MT 1 and MT 2 have been identified in the mammalian retina. MT 1 and MT 2 receptors are found in all layers of the neural retina and in the retinal pigmented epithelium. Melatonin in the eye is believed to be involved in the modulation of many important retinal functions; it can modulate the electroretinogram (ERG), and administration of exogenous melatonin increases light-induced photoreceptor degeneration. Melatonin may also have protective effects on retinal pigment epithelial cells, photoreceptors and ganglion cells. A series of studies have implicated melatonin in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration, and melatonin administration may represent a useful approach to prevent and treat glaucoma. Melatonin is used by millions of people around the world to retard aging, improve sleep performance, mitigate jet lag symptoms, and treat depression. Administration of exogenous melatonin at night may also be beneficial for ocular health, but additional investigation is needed to establish its potential.

Copyright information:

© 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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