Sensitization: A Mechanism for Melatonin Action in the Pars Tuberalis

Perry Barrett, C Schuster, Julian Mercer, Peter John Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Sensitization of adenylate cyclase is a recently discovered phenomenon. Melatonin can induce a sensitized response of adenylate cyclase in ovine pars tuberalis cells where the receptor for melatonin is endogenously expressed. Although the mechanism is not fully understood, sensitization of adenylate cyclase may be an important part of the mechanism by which melatonin encodes daylength in the pars tuberalis of sheep and other animals. We used this as a hypothesis to search for a natural ligand that would activate adenylate cyclase in ovine pars tuberalis cells. The approach revealed pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide to be an indirect activator of adenylate cyclase in the ovine pars tuberalis. We discuss this in relation to the mechanism and importance of sensitization to the function to the pars tuberalis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number4
Early online date6 Mar 2003
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


  • cAMP
  • pituitary
  • photoperiod
  • circadian rhythm
  • cyclase-activating polypeptide
  • adenylate-cyclase
  • molecular analysis
  • ovine pituitary
  • gene-expression
  • receptors
  • cells
  • proteins
  • signal
  • adenosine-3',5'-monophosphate


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