Melatonin-evoked in vivo secretion of protein and amylase from the parotid gland of the anaesthetised rat.J Pineal Res. 2008 Nov; 45(4):413-21.JP
The intravenous infusion of melatonin (5 and 25 mg/kg over 10 min) evoked a dose-dependent output of protein and amylase but no overt fluid secretion from the parotid gland of the pentobarbitone-anaesthetised rat, as revealed by increased concentrations of protein and amylase activity in a subsequent wash-out flow of saliva in response to an intravenous bolus injection of methacholine (5 microg/kg) 10 min later. The secretory responses to melatonin occurred in the presence of alpha- and beta-adrenoceptor antagonists. They were not affected by the cholecystokinin A-receptor antagonist, lorglumide, and they were reproduced in eviscerated animals acutely subjected to postganglionic sympathetic and parasympathetic denervation of the gland. The responses to melatonin were partially dependent on nitric oxide generation, through the activity of nitric oxide synthase of the neuronal type. Immunoblotting showed both melatonin receptors of type 1 and type 2 to be expressed in parotid gland tissue. The relative specific melatonin 2-receptor antagonist luzindole prevented the expected secretory effects of melatonin. The results favour a direct action by melatonin on melatonin receptors of parotid secretory cells and suggest a potential physiological role for melatonin in the regulation of salivary glandular activities.