Identification and characterisation of 2-[125I]iodomelatonin binding and mella melatonin receptor expression in the human fetal leptomeninges

Janice Drew*, Lynda Williams, L T Hannah, Perry Barrett, David Abramovich, Peter John Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Melatonin binding sites were identified over the leptomeninges surrounding the human fetal brain using quantitative in vitro autoradiography and the melatonin agonist, 2-[125I]iodomelatonin. Binding was found to be saturable and of high affinity (dissociation constant (K(d))=54 pM and maximal theoretical binding (B(max)) = 13 fmol/mg protein), and inhibited by guanosine-5'-o-(3-thiotriphosphate) (GTPγS) suggesting that these binding sites represent G protein-coupled melatonin receptors. REIT-PCR performed on mRNA isolated from the human fetal leptomeninges detected expression of the G protein-coupled melatonin receptor Mella, but not Mellb. In situ hybridisation confirmed the localisation of Mella mRNA transcripts over the leptomeninges of the fetal brain. The identification of 2- [125I]iodomelatonin and Mella melatonin receptor expression in the fetal leptomeninges implies that melatonin may play a role in the early growth and development of the human brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 1997


  • melatonin
  • melatonin receptor
  • leptomeninges
  • arachnoid
  • pia mater
  • human fetus
  • meningeal cells
  • sites
  • brain
  • rat
  • responses
  • neurons

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