Effect of melatonin on circadian rhythm, locomotor activity and body temperature in the intact house sparrow, Japanese quail and owl

Noboru Murakami, Takanori Kawano, Keiko Nakahara, Tetsuo Nasu, Kunio Shiota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We compared the effect of melatonin on circadian rhythm, body temperature, and locomotion in the intact house sparrow, Japanese quail and owl. Daily treatment with melatonin at a fixed time did not entrain the free-running rhythm of locomotor activity in the house sparrow and the disrupted rhythm in Japanese quail under constant dim light. However, melatonin clearly inhibited movement for several hours after treatment. The duration of resting after injection of melatonin was dose-dependent. Body temperature was significantly decreased after melatonin treatment, the effect being more potent during the active phase than in the resting phase. Although this effect of melatonin on body temperature was also dose-dependent, the magnitude of the decrease in body temperature after injection of melatonin was greater in the house sparrow than in the Japanese quail. On the other hand, melatonin induced a further large decrease of body temperature in a nocturnal bird, the owl, whose pineal gland is degenerate. The decrease of body temperature was larger in the active phase than in the resting phase, and melatonin did not prevent movement in spite of the decrease in body temperature. These results suggest that the effects of melatonin on circadian rhythm, locomotor activity and body temperature differ among avian species, and that these mechanisms may not be linked to each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-224
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Volume889
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan 19
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Body temperature
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Melatonin
  • Pineal gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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