Document Detail

Daily melatonin administration at middle age suppresses male rat visceral fat, plasma leptin, and plasma insulin to youthful levels.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9927336     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Human and rat pineal melatonin secretion decline with aging, whereas visceral fat and plasma insulin levels increase. Melatonin modulates fat metabolism in some mammalian species, so these aging-associated melatonin, fat and insulin changes could be functionally related. Accordingly, we investigated the effects of daily melatonin supplementation to male Sprague-Dawley rats, starting at middle age (10 months) and continuing into old age (22 months). Melatonin was added to the drinking water (92% of which was consumed at night) at a dosage (4 microg/ml) previously reported to attenuate the aging-associated decrease in survival rate in male rats, as well as at a 10-fold lower dosage. The higher dosage produced nocturnal plasma melatonin levels in middle-aged rats which were 15-fold higher than in young (4 months) rats; nocturnal plasma melatonin levels in middle-aged rats receiving the lower dosage were not significantly different from young or middle-aged controls. Relative (% of body wt) retroperitoneal and epididymal fat, as well as plasma insulin and leptin levels, were all significantly increased at middle age when compared to young rats. All were restored within 10 weeks to youthful (4 month) levels in response to both dosages of melatonin. Continued treatment until old age maintained suppression of visceral (retroperitoneal + epididymal) fat levels. Plasma corticosterone and total thyroxine (T4) levels were not significantly altered by aging or melatonin treatment. Plasma testosterone, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and total triiodothyronine (T3) decreased by middle age; these aging-associated decreases were not significantly altered by melatonin treatment. Thus, visceral fat, insulin and leptin responses to melatonin administration may be independent of marked changes in gonadal, thyroid, adrenal or somatotropin regulation. Since increased visceral fat is associated with increased insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, these results suggest that appropriate melatonin supplementation may potentially provide prophylaxis or therapy for some prominent pathologies associated with aging.
D D Rasmussen; B M Boldt; C W Wilkinson; S M Yellon; A M Matsumoto
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Endocrinology     Volume:  140     ISSN:  0013-7227     ISO Abbreviation:  Endocrinology     Publication Date:  1999 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-02-23     Completed Date:  1999-02-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375040     Medline TA:  Endocrinology     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1009-12     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*,  drug effects
Aging / blood,  physiology*
Drug Administration Schedule
Epididymis / anatomy & histology,  drug effects
Insulin / blood*
Melatonin / administration & dosage*,  pharmacology
Proteins / analysis*
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Viscera / anatomy & histology*,  drug effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Leptin; 0/Proteins; 11061-68-0/Insulin; 73-31-4/Melatonin
Erratum In:
Endocrinology 2002 Apr;143(4):1269

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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