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Studies of the 24 Hour Rhythm of Melatonin in Man

  • E. D. Weitzman
  • U. Weinberg
  • R. D’Eletto
  • H. Lynch
  • R. J. Wurtman
  • Ch. Czeisler
  • Stephanie Erlich
Conference paper
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 13)

Summary

In a series of four separate studies of the 24-hour pattern of melatonin secretory function in man, the following results were obtained. Sequential measurement of the concentration of melatonin in plasma and urine demonstrated a 24-hour rhythm in which more melatonin is secreted during the sleep-lights off as compared to the waking-lights on period. However, during “free-running” and after an acute phase shift of the sleep-wake cycle, a melatonin rhythm can be dissociated from the sleep-lights out rhythm. A radioimmunoassayable plasma melatonin substance was found in significant amounts throughout the entire 24-hour day using a frequent sampling technique (every 20 min). Melatonin appears to be secreted into the blood in discrete brief episodes superimposed on a maintained “baseline” concentration. The half-life appears to be less than 30 min.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. D. Weitzman
    • 1
    • 2
  • U. Weinberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. D’Eletto
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Lynch
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. J. Wurtman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ch. Czeisler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephanie Erlich
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Montefiore Hospital and Medical CenterAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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