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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 57

by Professor F. Fraschini, University, Milano (Italy)

This volume (NATO ASI SERIES A277) contains the written contributions to the proceedings of a workshop related to the pineal gland and its hormones which was held in Erice, Italy, from June 7 - June 13, 1994. This series of workshops, which began in 1982 and which has been held at four-year intervals since that time, has provided important continuity for advancing the state of knowledge relating to this very important investigative area. The enthusiasm for these conferences has increased steadily, as reflected in the number of individuals applying to attend and in the input of individuals who participate in the meetings.

The 1994 meeting was important because of its timeliness. In the two years preceding the meeting a number of revolutionary discoveries were made relative to the actions of the pineal hormone melatonin. The Xenopus melatonin receptor was cloned, melatonin was demonstrated to be a potent antioxidant, the significance of melatonin receptors at the level of pars tuberalis in the regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis was questioned, a number of melatonin receptor analogues were discovered and successfully utilized, the mechanisms by which melatonin retards initiation and promotion of cancer was further elucidated, the clinical aspects of the pineal gland and melatonin were better clarified, and the control of melatonin synthesis within the pineal gland was re-scrutinized. Reviews related to each of these subjects as well as many others are contained in this book. The volume represents an up-to-date repository for the most recent information related to this rapidly advancing field. The book contains contributions that will appeal to both basic scientists and clinicians in virtually any discipline but certainly in the fields of physiology, endocrinology, free radical biology, oncology, pharmacology, circadian biology, immunology and cellular and molecular biology.

The organizers are most grateful for the overwhelming support they received in the organization of this noteworthy workshop. The invited speakers enthusiastically accepted the invitations to present their newest data and the attendees participated actively. The enthusiasm was obvious during the meeting and should remain throughout the pages of this proceedings volume. We thank all those who contributed to or were associated with this important event.
Reference books: A65, A204, A277

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