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The modulation of neuronal activity by melatonin: In vitro studies on mouse hippocampal slices

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The influence of melatonin on evoked potentials recorded from the CA1 field of mouse hippocampal slices was investigated. Melatonin (0.1–2.0 mM) and its analog, 6-chloromelatonin (0.1–0.5 mM) depressed evoked potentials (EPSP and the population spike) in a concentration-dependent manner. The melatonin-induced depression was followed by a slow recovery phase. Since the fiber potential was not affected, it was concluded that melatonin influenced synaptic efficiency and/or cell excitability. Luzindole, an antagonist of MT2 melatonin receptors, although slightly depressing evoked potentials when applied by itself (100 M), blocked any further inhibition by melatonin when added afterwards. We concluded that melatonin reduced synaptic efficiency and/or excitability of hippocampal neurons most likely through interaction with MT2 melatonin receptors, but other possible mechanisms of melatonin action are also considered.
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Keywords: evoked potentials; hippocampal slices; luzindole; melatonin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biology/CSI/IBR Center for Developmental Neuroscience, College of Staten Island/CUNY, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, New York 10314, USA;

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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