Circadian Profile of Serum Melatonin in Cushing’s Syndrome and Acromegaly
We evaluated the 24-hour profiles of serum melatonin (MT) and cortisol in 12 patients with Cushing’s syndrome and those of serum MT and growth hormone (GH) in 11 patients with acromegaly. The respective age-matched control groups consisted of 22 and 14 healthy subjects. In all cases blood samples were collected at 4-h intervals for a 24-h cycle. The presence of a circadian rhythmicity was assessed by the cosinor analysis, while the diurnal and nocturnal amounts of MT secretion were evaluated in terms of area under the curve (AUC). Spearman’s coefficients of correlation were also calculated. Gross alterations of MT rhythm were not apparent in the Cushing’s patients; pairwise correlations between MT and cortisol and between MT and ACTH (in cases with an ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma) were not significant. In the acromegalics, two different MT patterns were observed: elevated MT levels with mantained nycthemeral changes in 5 out of 11 patients and normal MT levels with blunted nycthemeral changes in the others. As a group, the acromegalics showed a 24-h MT profile compatible with enhanced secretion, particularly during the day-time period. No significant correlation was found between MT and GH.
KeywordsAdenoma Cortisol Glucocorticoid Melatonin Indole
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