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Chronobiol Int. 2014 Feb;31(1):144-50. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2013.842925. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

Light at night and melatonin have opposite effects on breast cancer tumors in mice assessed by growth rates and global DNA methylation.

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The Israeli Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Chronobiology, University of Haifa , Mount Carmel, Haifa , Israel .


Light-at-night (LAN) is a worldwide problem co-distributed with breast cancer prevalence. We hypothesized that exposure to LAN is coincided with a decreased melatonin (MLT) secretion level, followed by epigenetic modifications and resulted in higher breast cancer tumors growth-rate. Accordingly, we studied the effect of LAN exposure and exogenous MLT on breast cancer tumors growth-rate. 4T1 cells were inoculated into BALB/c short day-acclimated mice, resulting in tumors growth. Growth rates were followed under various light exposures and global DNA methylations were measured. Results demonstrated the positive effect of LAN on tumors growth-rate, reversed by MLT through global DNA methylation.

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