Melatonin concentrations in the luminal fluid, mucosa, and muscularis of the bovine and porcine gastrointestinal tract
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Melatonin concentrations were measured in serum, luminal fluid, and tissues of the mucosa and muscularis of the entire bovine and porcine gastrointestinal tract (GIT). In both species, GIT levels profoundly exceeded serum levels. In pigs, melatonin was lowest in the luminal fluid and highest in the mucosa. No difference was found in various layers of bovine GIT. Compared to pigs, cows had higher melatonin levels in the stomach and ileum, but lower in the cecum and colon. There was no difference in melatonin levels between anterior and posterior segments of bovine GIT, whereas pigs exhibited several fold higher concentration of melatonin in the posterior segment (cecum and colon). Conversely, melatonin values in the anterior segment were significantly higher in cows, but in the posterior segments porcine values were higher. In cows, concentrations in the mucosa correlated with levels in the muscularis. Melatonin levels in the mucosa and muscularis were higher in the rumen and reticulum than in the omasum and abomasum. The species-specific levels and a distinct distribution of melatonin in the layers of the digestive tube indicates that this indole may be involved in the modulation of gastrointestinal function of monogastric as well as polygastric ungulates, albeit in a different capacity.