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MELATONIN AND MONOAMINERGIC SYSTEM – BEHAVIOURAL ASPECTS
Melatonin, the hormone synthesized mainly by the pineal gland, is a key member of the complex monoaminergic signaling system, and a circadian regulator with pleiotropic functions. This ubiquitary lipophilic and hydrophilic molecule acts both at cellular and subcellular level, exerting anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic activities, extremely important in the nervous system, given its high vulnerability to oxidative injury. Melatonin deprivation and the consecutive chronodisruption are associated with multiple behavioural abnormalities, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The present review summarizes the available information concerning the link between melatonin, monoaminergic neurotransmission and the pathophysiological bases of these conditions.
Keywords: melatonin, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, neuroprotection, anxiety, depression, memory, aggression
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