N-acetylserotonin promotes hippocampal neuroprogenitor cell proliferation in sleep-deprived mice

Pradoldej Sompol, Xia Liu, Kenkichi Baba, Ketema N. Paul, Gianluca Tosini, P. Michael Iuvone, Keqiang Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


N-acetylserotonin (NAS), the immediate precursor of melatonin, the pineal gland indole, is regulated in a circadian rhythm. NAS swiftly activates TrkB in a circadian manner and exhibits antidepressant effect in a TrkB-dependent manner. Here we show that NAS regulates an early event of neurogenesis by increasing neuronal progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation. Subchronic and chronic NAS administration induces NPC proliferation in adult mice. Chronic NAS treatment triggers TrkB receptor activation and its downstream signaling in NPCs. Blockade of TrkB abolishes NAS-elicited neurogenesis in TrkBF616A knockin mice, suggesting that TrkB activation is essential for the effect of NAS-induced NPC proliferation. Moreover, NAS induces NPC proliferation in both active and sleeping phases of the mice. Strikingly, NAS significantly enhances NPC proliferation in sleep-deprived mice. Thus, our finding demonstrates a unique function of NAS in promoting robust NPC proliferation, which may contribute to hippocampal plasticity during sleeping period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8844-8849
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 24 2011


  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Sleep deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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