Localization and characterization of [125I]iodomelatonin binding sites in duck gonads
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The characterization and localization of [125I]iodomelatonin binding sites in the gonads advances the understanding of possible regulatory sites of melatonin action. With the availability of [125I]iodomelatonin as a biologically active radioligand, our study utilized a combined approach of autoradiography for anatomical resolution together with an established radioligand binding assay to assess mid-light [125I]iodomelatonin binding in the testes and ovaries of ducks. In the autoradiography study, specific [125I]iodomelatonin binding was shown to be homogeneous throughout the testes, while in the ovaries, specific [125I]iodomelatonin binding appeared to be concentrated around the follicle. Radioligand binding assay results indicated a single class of binding sites with the maximum number of [125I]iodomelatonin binding sites measured at 1.91 +/- 0.70 fmol/mg protein in testicular membrane and 4.54 +/- 0.64 fmol/mg protein in ovarian membrane. [125I]Iodomelatonin binding affinity, characterized by equilibrium dissociation constants of 29 +/- 6 pmol/L in testicular membrane and 53 +/- 9 pmol/L in ovarian membrane, was in accordance with circulating melatonin levels, suggesting an appropriate concentration for eliciting a physiological response. [125I]Iodomelatonin binding in duck gonads satisfied all the criteria for a binding site, being rapid, stable, saturable, reversible, specific, and of high affinity, and may indicate a direct pineal-gonadal connection.
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