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Melatonin’s stimulatory effect on adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice persists after ovariectomy

Authors

  • Rosalia Crupi,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, Italy
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    • The authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Emanuela Mazzon,

    1. IRCCS Centro Neurolesi ‘Bonino-Pulejo’, Messina, Italy
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    • The authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Angela Marino,

    1. Department of Life Sciences ‘M. Malpighi’, Section of General Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Messina, Italy
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  • Giuseppina La Spada,

    1. Department of Life Sciences ‘M. Malpighi’, Section of General Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Messina, Italy
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  • Placido Bramanti,

    1. IRCCS Centro Neurolesi ‘Bonino-Pulejo’, Messina, Italy
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  • Edoardo Spina,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, Italy
    2. IRCCS Centro Neurolesi ‘Bonino-Pulejo’, Messina, Italy
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  • Salvatore Cuzzocrea

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, Italy
    2. IRCCS Centro Neurolesi ‘Bonino-Pulejo’, Messina, Italy
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Address reprint requests to Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, Torre Biologica-Policlinico Universitario Via C.Valeria – Gazzi 98100, Messina, Italy.
E-mail: salvator@unime.it

Abstract

Abstract:  In this study, we examined whether melatonin treatment would increase new cell formation in the hippocampus in ovariectomized (OVX) mice. Chronic exogenous melatonin administration increased bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) (OVX-sham 72 ± 3.2 versus OVX-mel 122 ± 12.0; P < 0.05) and doublecortin (DCX) (OVX-sham 88 ± 3.1 versus OVX-mel 176 ± 9.9; P < 0.05) immunoreactive cells in the hippocampus of ovariectomized mice. This neuronal development was correlated with synaptic plasticity, identified using the Golgi impregnation method to quantify dendritic spines in mouse dentate gyrus (DG). Finally, the antidepressant-like state of the animals was evaluated by the tail suspension test. The results indicate that melatonin acts on birth, survival, and differentiation of new neurons in the hippocampus, stimulates maturation of spines, and exerts an antidepressant-like action under estrogen-deprived conditions, in both a strain- and gender-independent manner, suggesting that this indoleamine may be useful in improving brain functions.

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