Role of Melatonin in Modulation of Immune Status of Pregnant Female Indian Short Nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus sphinx
Keywords:Cynopterus sphinx, Immunity, Melatonin, Pregnancy.
AbstractPregnancy is associated with profound immunological changes that are characterized by a strong activation of certain components of the innate immune defense and a down-regulation of adaptive immune functions. This shift in balance of the immune system towards an innate dominance is thought to be important for the maintenance of pregnancy. Based on our observation in the short nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx, a seasonal breeder, we show for the first time that melatonin injection to the pregnant females significantly increases lymphocyte proliferation of spleen and consequently the circulating level of lymphocytes and percent stimulation ratio of splenocytes, thereby improving immune status during pregnancy. We have reported earlier that during pregnancy melatonin level increases significantly which in turn might improve the maternal immunity. Towards establishing this inference we used a physiological dose of p-chlorophenylalanine (p-CPA), an indirect antagonist of melatonin, which reduced circulatory melatonin level and thereby reduced the immune status. It is conceived that specific immune adaptation is conveyed to the fetus through placental transfer of melatonin thereby controlling fetal immunity as well. This could be an adaptation during pregnancy to protect the mother from various external threats.
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