Diurnal variations in melatonin binding sites in the hamster brain: impact of melatonin

Yossi Anis, Isaac Nir, Nava Zisapel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The distribution of 125I-melatonin binding sites in the male Syrian hamster brain was recorded at 3 times over a 24 h period. The binding in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, medulla-pons and midbrain of the hamsters varied significantly over the 24 h period with different patterns and phases. No such variations were observed in the parietal cortex. Daily morning (10.00 h) or late afternoon (18.00 h) injections of melatonin for 28 days markedly increased the serum concentrations of melatonin at all times recorded. Serum concentrations of testosterone were significantly lower in animals injected with melatonin in the late afternoon than in the untreated controls; no such decrease was observed in animals injected in the morning despite the continuously elevated levels of circulating melatonin. The daily melatonin injections did not significantly affect 125I-melatonin binding in the hypothalamus, parietal cortex and medulla-pons. In the midbrain, 125I-melatonin binding decreased regardless of the time of injection. In the hippocampus, morning melatonin injections caused a marked decrease in 125I-melatonin binding at all times recorded whereas melatonin injected in the late afternoon led to a decrease in 125I-melatonin binding at 10.00 h only. These results indicate diurnal variations in 125I-melanotin binding sites in discrete brain areas of the golden hamster, persisting despite prolonged duration of elevated levels of circulating melatonin. The differential effects of timed melatonin injections on the hippocampal 125I-melatonin binding sites are positively correlated with the counter-antigonadal response produced by morning melatonin injections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 1989


Dive into the research topics of 'Diurnal variations in melatonin binding sites in the hamster brain: impact of melatonin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this