Preliminary evidence that pharmacologic melatonin treatment decreases rat ghrelin levels
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Ghrelin is a signal peptide isolated from rat stomach antagonistic to actions of leptin. Ghrelin stimulates the secretion of growth hormone (GH) and increases food intake, body mass, and adiposity in rodents. Photoperiod and melatonin regulate leptin secretion of mammals. The aim of the study was to investigate possible melatonin-ghrelin interactions in weight regulation by studying the effects of continuous pharmacologic melatonin treatment and constant light on plasma ghrelin, leptin, and GH levels in rats. Plasma ghrelin concentrations were significantly reduced by exogenous melatonin. Ghrelin levels correlated negatively with plasma leptin levels in control rats kept in 12 h of light/12 h of dark but not in the melatonin-treated animals. The inverse ghrelin-leptin relationship was also disrupted by constant illumination. The circulating ghrelin and GH levels may not be interrelated in all metabolic situations. The results suggest new interplay between the pineal gland and energy metabolism as well as reenforce the hypothesis that ghrelin is antagonistic to leptin.
Key WordsGhrelin growth hormone leptin melatonin rat
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