, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 163–167 | Cite as

Melatonin effect on rat body weight regulation in response to high-fat diet at middle age

  • Stephaney S. Puchalski
  • Jill N. Green
  • Dennis D. Rasmussen


We previously demonstrated that daily melatonin administration to middle-aged rats to restore youthful plasma melatonin levels also decreased body weight, visceral fat, plasma leptin, and plasma insulin to more youthful levels, without detectable changes in consumption of chow diet. We now evaluate: (a) whether melatonin alters consumption of a more precisely quantifiable liquid diet similar in high-fat content to the typical American diet; (b) differences between melatonin-induced endocrine responses in the fasted vs fed state; and (c) time course of these responses. Ten-month-old male Sprague- Dawley rats received liquid diet containing either 0.2 µg/mL melatonin (MELATONIN) or vehicle (CONTROL) (n=14/treatment); the diet was available throughout each night, but was removed for the final 10 h of each daytime. MELATONIN rats gained 4% body weight during the first 2 wk and then stabilized, whereas CONTROL rats continued to gain for an additional week, achieving 8% gain (p<0.05 vs MELATONIN). During the first 3 wk, afternoon tail-blood leptin, but not insulin, levels decreased in melatonin-treated rats (p<0.05 vs CONTROL). After 8 wk, half of the rats were killed at the midpoint of the dark period (NIGHT; fed) and half at the end of the light period (DAYTIME; fasted). NIGHT but not DAYTIME plasma leptin levels were decreased in MELATONIN rats, whereas DAYTIME but not NIGHT plasma insulin levels were decreased (p<0.05 vs CONTROL). Melatonin treatment did not alter cumulative food consumption. Thus, melatonin decreased weight gain in response to high-fat diet, decreased plasma leptin levels within 3 wk—before decreasing plasma insulin—and exerted these metabolic effects independent of total food consumption.

Key Words

Melatonin high-fat diet body weight leptin insulin visceral fat 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cagnacci, A. (1996). J. Pineal Res. 21, 200–213.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Reiter, R. (1992). Bioessays 14, 169–175.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pang, S. F., Tsang, C. W., Hong, G. X., Yip, P. C., Tang, P. L., and Brown, G. M. (1990). J. Pineal Res. 8, 179–192.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Koster-Van Hoffen, G. C., Mirmiran, M., Bos, N. P. A., Witting, W., Delagrange, P., and Guardiola-Lemaitre, B. (1993). Neurobiol. Aging 14, 565–569.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Björntorp, P. (1995). J. Intern. Med. 238, 401–404.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rasmussen, D. D., Boldt, B. M., Wilkinson, C. W., Yellon, S. M., and Matsumoto, A. M. (1999). Endocrinology 140, 1009–1012.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wolden-Hanson, T., Mitton, D. R., McCants, R. L., et al. (2000). Endocrinology 141, 487–497.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rasmussen, D. D., Mitton, D. R., Larsen, S. A., and Yellon, S. M. (2001). J. Pineal Res. 31, 89–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Levy, J. R., Lesko, J., Kreig, R. J. Jr., Adler, R. A., and Stevens, W. (2000). Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 279, E1088-E1096.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Morgan, P. J. and Mercer, J. G. (2001). Proc. Nutr. Soc. 60, 127–134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kim, Y. B., Uotani, S., Pierroz, D. D., Flier, J. S., and Kahn, B. B. (2000). Endocrinology 141, 2328–2339.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Baskin, D. G., Figlewicz Latteman, D., Seeley, R. J., Woods, S. C., Porte, D. Jr., and Schwartz, M. W. (1999). Brain Res. 848, 114–123.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yip, I., Go, V. L., Hershman, J. M., et al. (2001). Pancreas 23, 197–203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ahren, B., Mansson, S., Gingerich, R. L., and Havel, P. J. (1997). Am. J. Physiol. 273, R113-R120.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bergman, R. N., Van Citters, G. W., Mittelman, S. D., Dea, M. K., Hamilton-Wessler, M., and Kim, S. P. (2001). J. Invest. Med. 49, 119–126.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Barzilai, N., She, L., Liu, B.-Q., et al. (1999). Diabetes 48, 94–98.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cohen, B., Novick, D., and Rubenstein, M. (1996). Science 274, 1151–1152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Barzilai, N., Wang, J., Massilon, D., Vuguin, P., Hawkins, M., and Rossetti, L. (1997). J. Clin. Invest. 100, 3105–3110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Muller, G., Ertl, J., Gerl, M., and Preibisch, G. (1997). J. Biol. Chem. 272, 10585–10593.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Walder, K., Filippis, A., Clark, S., Zimmet, P., and Collier, G. R. (1997). J Endocrinol. 155, R5-R7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fried, S. K., Ricci, M. R., Russell, C. D., and Laferrere, B. (2000). J. Nutr. 139, 3127S-3131S.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dallongeville, J., Hecquet, B., Lebel, P., et al. (1998). Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 22, 728–733.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Schwartz, M. W., Prigeon, R. L., Kahn, S. E., et al. (1997). Diabetes Care 20, 1476–1481.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Abbasi, F., Carantoni, M., McLaughlin, T., and Reaven, G. M. (2000). Metabolism 49, 544–547.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephaney S. Puchalski
    • 1
  • Jill N. Green
    • 1
  • Dennis D. Rasmussen
    • 1
  1. 1.VA Puget Sound Health Care System Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) and Department of PsychiatryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle

Personalised recommendations