Time-dependent effects of melatonin on immune measurements in male Syrian hamsters. Academic Article uri icon


  • Adult, male Syrian hamsters received daily subcutaneous melatonin (25 microg) injections or vehicle injections at 08:00 or 17:00 hr for 11 weeks. Body weights were measured weekly throughout the experiment and testes weights, spleen weights, and serum was collected at the end of the experiment. The spleens were sectioned and immunocytochemically analyzed for immunoglobulin G and serum levels of interferon-gamma, interleukin-2, and interleukin-4 were determined in heterologous mouse assays. Melatonin injections at 17:00 hr, but not at 08:00 hr, increased body weights, decreased testes weights and serum testosterone levels, and had no effect on immunoglobulin G content in the spleen. Likewise, melatonin injections at 17:00 hr, but not at 08:00 hr, increased serum interferon-gamma levels, had no effect on interleukin-2 levels, and appeared to increase interleukin-4 levels. Since melatonin injections at 08:00 hr were ineffective in altering immune measurements and correlations between reproductive measures and immune measures were high, the most parsimonious explanation for these results is that melatonin injections at 17:00 hr depressed reproductive hormone levels and these depressed levels altered immune measures.

published proceedings

  • J Pineal Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Champney, T. H., Allen, G. C., Zannelli, M., & Beausang, L. A.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Champney, TH||Allen, GC||Zannelli, M||Beausang, LA

publication date

  • October 1998