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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


CAMPINO, Carmen et al. Melatonin reduces cortisol response to ACTH in humans. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2008, vol.136, n.11, pp.1390-1397. ISSN 0034-9887.

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 affeets cortisol response to ACTH in dexamethasone suppressed volunteers. Material and methods: Adrenal glands were obtained from 4 patients undergoing unilateral nephrectomy-adrenalectomy for renal cáncer. 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 tríal) 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. Une was inserted, at 08:30 h, and after a blood sample, subjeets ingested 6 mg melatonin or placebo. At 09:00 h, 1-24 ACTH (Cortrosyn, 1µg/1.73 m2 body surface área) 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 ingestión reduced the cortisol response to ACTH from 14.6+1.45µg/dl at 60 min in the placebo group to 10.8+1.2µg/dl in the melatonin group (p <0.01 mixed model test). It did not affect other steroid hormone levels and abolished the morningphysiological decline of prolactin. Conclusions: The expression ofMTl melatonin receptor in the human adrenal, and the melatonin reduction of ACTH-stimulated cortisol production suggest a direct melatonin action on the adrenal gland .

Keywords : Adrenocorticotropic hormone; Hydrocortisone; Melatonin.

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