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      Excretion of 6-Hydroxymelatonin Sulfate (6-OHMS) in Siblings during Childhood and Adolescence

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          The analysis was performed to support the assumption that in inter-individual variations melatonin production is determined genetically. Sixty-six siblings from 31 families (27 girls, 39 boys, 3–18 years) contributed to this study with 3 to 15 urine samples collected once a year over 24 h. The samples were stored at –20°C and analyzed for the daily output of the melatonin metabolite 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS) by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results indicate that 6-OHMS excretion was significantly correlated in siblings (r = 0.37, p = 0.01), suggesting a possible genetic background of melatonin production. However, prospective studies controlling also lifestyle factors such as diet are required to further confirm the hypothesis.

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          Most cited references 7

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          A new concept for melatonin deficit: on pineal calcification and melatonin excretion.

          Even though exogenous melatonin has proven to influence sleep and circadian parameters, low endogenous melatonin is not related to sleep disturbances, nor does it predict response to melatonin replacement therapy. In this manuscript, we present a new concept towards a definition of a melatonin deficit. The purpose of the study was to introduce a marker for an intra-individual decrease in melatonin production. Therefore, we developed a method to quantify the degree of pineal calcification (DOC) using cranial computed tomography. Combining pineal DOC with the organs's size, we estimated the uncalcified pineal gland volume. This estimation was positively and significantly associated with 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s), collected over 24 hours in urine, in 26 subjects. Data yielded evidence that the decline in aMT6s excretion with age can be sufficiently explained by an increased pineal calcification. These results suggest that DOC might be useful as an indicator of an intra-individual, decreased capability of the pineal gland to produce melatonin. DOC might prove to be a response-marker for melatonin replacement therapy and a vulnerability marker of the circadian timing system.
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            Normative melatonin excretion: a multinational study.

            The present study on overnight urinary melatonin was conducted on the most geographically dispersed population to date, over a 1 year period, also covering a broad age range (18-62 years). An inverse relationship between melatonin and age, as well as between melatonin and weight was observed for both genders. Females as a whole, had higher melatonin values than males. Furthermore, the excretion of melatonin exhibited a bimodal distribution, distinguishing two groups of individuals: low and high melatonin excretors. The cut-off point was set at 0.25 nmol/l for ages up to 40 years and at 0.20 nmol/l for subjects above this age. Since melatonin may be involved in several physiological and pathological processes, it could be of importance to detect the type of melatonin excretion that prevails in various conditions, using a simple noninvasive procedure such as the overnight urinary measurement. For that purpose, this large sample could serve as a worldwide reference databank across different ages and locations.
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              Development of melatonin production in infants and the impact of prematurity

               D Kennaway (1992)

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 2003
                08 December 2003
                : 78
                : 5
                : 241-243
                aInstitute for Occupational Physiology at the University of Dortmund, and bResearch Institute of Child Nutrition Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany
                74444 Neuroendocrinology 2003;78:241–243
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 13, Pages: 3
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