Effects of melatonin on water metabolism and renal function in male Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). Academic Article uri icon


  • The pineal indoleamine, melatonin, has been shown to influence many physiological systems within the mammalian body. Few studies, however, have examined the influence of melatonin on renal function. This study investigated the effects of melatonin on water metabolism and renal function. Young adult male Syrian hamsters were maintained on a long photoperiod (LD 14:10) in metabolic cages. The animals received daily (1700) injections of either control vehicle or 25 micrograms of melatonin for 85 consecutive days. Melatonin administration resulted in significant increases in water consumption and urine production. Water budgets were also significantly influenced by melatonin, as were urinary osmolality, urinary sodium, and potassium concentrations, but urinary calcium concentrations were essentially unaltered. When excretion rates for sodium, potassium, and calcium were calculated, no differences were observed between the vehicle control and melatonin-treated groups. Injections of melatonin also significantly decreased plasma antidiuretic hormone (ADH). These results demonstrate that afternoon injections of melatonin can alter renal function, which may involve direct (i.e., on ADH secretion and/or thirst mechanisms) or indirect (i.e., behavioral) effects.

published proceedings

  • J Pineal Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Richardson, B. A., Studier, E. H., Stallone, J. N., & Kennedy, C. M.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Richardson, BA||Studier, EH||Stallone, JN||Kennedy, CM

publication date

  • September 1992