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Complex effects of melatonin on human circadian rhythms in constant dim light.

Middleton, BA, Arendt, J and Stone, BM (1997) Complex effects of melatonin on human circadian rhythms in constant dim light. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 12 (5). pp. 467-477.

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Abstract

In humans, the pineal hormone melatonin can phase shift a number of circadian rhythms (e.g., "fatigue," endogenous melatonin, core body temperature) together with the timing of prolactin secretion. It is uncertain, however, whether melatonin can fully entrain all human circadian rhythms. In this study, the authors investigated the effects of daily melatonin administration on sighted individuals kept in continuous very dim light. A total of 10 normal, healthy males were maintained in two separate groups in partial temporal isolation under constant dim light (< 8 lux) with attenuated sound and ambient temperature variations but with knowledge of clock time for two periods of 30 days. In these circumstances, the majority of individuals free run with a mean period of 24.3 h. In a double-blind, randomized crossover design, subjects received 5 mg melatonin at 20:00 h on Days 1 to 15 (Melatonin 1st) followed by placebo on Days 16 to 30 (Placebo 2nd) or vice versa (Placebo 1st, Melatonin 2nd) during Leg 1 with treatment reversed in Leg 2. The variables measured were melatonin (as 6-sulphatoxymelatonin), rectal temperature, activity, and sleep (actigraphy and logs). In the experiment, 9 of the 10 subjects free ran with Placebo 1st, whereas Melatonin 1st stabilized the sleep-wake cycle to 24 h in 8 of 10 individuals. In addition, 2 individuals showed irregular sleep with this treatment. In some subjects, there was a shortening of the period of the temperature rhythm without synchronization. Melatonin 2nd induced phase advances (5 of 9 subjects), phase delays (2 of 9 subjects), and stabilization (2 of 9 subjects) of the sleep-wake cycle with subsequent synchronization to 24 h in the majority of individuals (7 of 9). Temperature continued to free run in 4 subjects. Maximum phase advances in core temperature were seen when the first melatonin treatment was given approximately 2 h after the temperature acrophase. These results indicate that melatonin was able to phase shift sleep and core temperature but was unable to synchronize core temperature consistently. In the majority of subjects, the sleep-wake cycle could be synchronized.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Middleton, BAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Arendt, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Stone, BMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : October 1997
Identification Number : 10.1177/074873049701200508
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:13
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 17:03
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/806365

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