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Rev Med Chil. 2008 Nov;136(11):1390-7.

[Melatonin reduces cortisol response to ACTH in humans].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Departamento de Endocrinología, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Lira 85, S degrees piso, Santiago, Chile. ccampino@med.puc.cl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Melatonin receptors are widely distributed in human tissues but they have not been reported in human adrenal gland.

AIM:

To assess if the human adrenal gland expresses melatonin receptors and if melatonin affects cortisol response to ACTH in dexamethasone suppressed volunteers.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Adrenal glands were obtained from 4 patients undergoing unilateral nephrectomy-adrenalectomy for renal cancer. Expression of mRNA MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors was measured by Reverse TranscriPtase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). The effect of melatonin on the response to intravenous (i.v.) ACTH was tested (randomized cross-over, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial) in eight young healthy males pretreated with dexamethasone (1 mg) at 23:00 h. On the next day, at 08:00 h, an i.v. line was inserted, at 08:30 h, and after a blood sample, subjects ingested 6 mg melatonin or placebo. At 09:00 h, 1-24 ACTH (Cortrosyn, 1 microg/1.73 m2 body surface area) was injected, drawing samples at 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes after. Melatonin, cortisol, cortisone, progesterone, aldosterone, DHEA-S, testosterone and prolactin were measured by immunoassay.

RESULTS:

The four adrenal glands expressed only MT1 receptor mRNA. Melatonin ingestion reduced the cortisol response to ACTH from 14.6 +/- 1.45 microg/dl at 60 min in the placebo group to 10.8 +/- 1.2 microg/dl in the melatonin group (p < 0.01 mixed model test). It did not affect other steroid hormone levels and abolished the morning physiological decline of prolactin.

CONCLUSIONS:

The expression of MT1 melatonin receptor in the human adrenal, and the melatonin reduction of ACTH-stimulated cortisol production suggest a direct melatonin action on the adrenal gland.

PMID:
19301769
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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