Melatonin Discovery May Help Adjust Biological Clock0

A team of scientists have discovered molecules that can modulate circadian rhythms by binding with high selectivity to the MT1 melatonin receptor in the biological clock, located in the hypothalamus at the base of the brain.

The research, published Feb. 10 online before print in Nature, will greatly facilitate development of targeted therapies that can either mimic or counteract the actions of melatonin, which is implicated in numerous circadian disorders ranging from depression, blindness, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders to difficulties experienced as a result of jet lag and shift work.

“This discovery allows us to now focus on the development of unique new molecules to generate a response that will help bring sleep patterns and other biological rhythms in line with environmental light and dark cycles, providing the sense of well-being that is only experienced when such rhythms are in sync,” says Margarita L. Dubocovich, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.

Get the full story at buffalo.edu/ubnow.

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