and aging. A brief survey
by Csilla Rôzs∑s1 & B»la Mess
aging, melatonin, ovarian cycle, anovulatory syndrome, serotonin,
monoaminergic neurons, suprachiasmatic nuclei
relationship between the pineal gland and aging has been assumed
already nearly a century ago. Recently, melatonin was considered
by some authors as a žwonder drug.Ó The present paper tries
to summarize the relationship between melatonin and aging in
1. Decline of melatonin production during aging.
2. The role of the pineal gland in the regulation of the ovarian
cycle in aged females.
3. The antioxydant effect of melatonin and aging.
The age-related decline of pineal melatonin production is due
to the degenerative changes of the neural structures (serotonergic
and noradrenergic neuron systems) innervating the pineal gland
and the suprachiasmatic nuclei rather than to the degeneration
of the pineal tissue itself. The decreased melatonin production
of the pineal gland preceds the destruction of ovarian cyclicity
which can be partly counteracted by melatonin or by 5-hydroxytryptophane
administration. The antioxydant effect of melatonin might explain
its lifespan-prolonging effect, at least to a certain degree.