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Neuropeptides. 1997 Aug;31(4):323-6.

Effect of melatonin on hypoglycemia and metoclopramide-stimulated arginine vasopressin secretion in normal men.

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Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Parma, Italy.


The present study was performed in order to establish whether melatonin (MEL) plays a role in the regulation of arginine vasopressin secretion (AVP) in normal human subjects. For this purpose, the effects of an oral administration of 6 or 12 mg MEL on basal and metoclopramide (MCP)- or hypoglycemia-stimulated AVP secretion was tested in 18 normal men. MCP was given at a dose of 20 mg as an intravenous (i.v.) bolus; hypoglycemia was induced with an i.v. bolus injection of 0.15 IU/kg body weight of insulin. In addition, in view of the well-known inhibitory effect of MEL on the growth hormone (GH) response to hypoglycemia, GH levels were measured during the insulin tolerance test (ITT), as an independent index of MEL activity. MEL did not produce any change in AVP secretory patterns in basal conditions or during the MCP test. In contrast, the mean peak AVP response to hypoglycemia was 2.33 times higher than baseline in the control ITT, whereas it was only 1.77 times higher than baseline in the ITT plus MEL tests. Also, the GH response to hypoglycemia was significantly lower in the presence than in the absence of MEL. For both AVP and GH, the inhibitory effect of MEL during ITT was similar, when either 6 or 12 mg MEL was given. These data indicate an involvement of MEL in the control of the AVP response to hypoglycemia, but not of basal and MCP-induced AVP secretion. In addition, the similar effects of MEL on GH and AVP secretions during ITT suggest that similar neuroendocrine mechanisms underlie these hormonal responses to hypoglycemia.

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