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Toxicity Effects

CAS Registry Number: 73-31-4

Selected toxicity information from HSDB, one of the National Library of Medicine's databases. 2.

Names 1

  • 5-Methoxy-N-Acetyltryptamine
  • Acetamide, N-(2-(5-Methoxy-1h-Indol-3-Yl)Ethyl)- (9ci)
  • Melatonin
  • Melatonin (Prevention 3)
  • Melatonin (Prevention 5)
  • Prevention 3 (Melatonin)
  • Prevention 5 (Melatonin)

Human Toxicity Excerpts

  • HUMAN EXPOSURE STUDIES: ... In a randomized and double-blind controlled study 10 healthy male subjects undertook an 80 min intensive hypertrophic heavy resistance exercise session (RES) for major muscles of the lower and upper extremities. The subjects were studied on two occasions receiving either melatonin (6 mg) or placebo (6 mg) in random order 60 min before each RES. Blood samples were taken from an antecubital vein both in fasting conditions in the morning and before RES (pre 60 min, pre 0 min), during RES (middle) and after RES (post 0 min, post 15 min, post 30 min, post 60 min). ... The serum melatonin concentration increased significantly (P<0.05-0.001) in the melatonin group following oral ingestion of melatonin and was elevated at every time point after that. The concentration reached a peak value of 1171.3+/-235.2 pg/mL in 60 min at pre 0. Serum melatonin increased slightly but significantly (P<0.05) also in the placebo group just before RES, in the middle of RES and after RES (post 0, post 15). There were large differences (P<0.01-0.001) in the serum melatonin concentration between the groups at all time points. ...[Mero AA et al; Eur J Appl Physiol 96 (6): 729-39 (2006)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • HUMAN EXPOSURE STUDIES: The pharmacokinetics of melatonin during the day-time has been studied in 4 healthy subjects after a bolus i.v. injection of 5 or 10 ug/person and after a 5 hr infusion of 20 ug per person in 6 healthy subjects. In addition, a pinealomectomized patient whose nocturnal plasma melatonin had been abolished was investigated after the i.v. infusion--once during the night and once during the day. The clearance of melatonin from blood showed a biexponential decay. The pharmacokinetic parameters in the two studies were similar, except for the disappearance rate constant beta and the apparent volume of distribution at steady-state (Vss). Supplementary peaks or troughs were superimposed on the plateau and the falling part of the profile. They were not due to stimulation of endogenous secretion, because they were also seen in the pinealomectomized patient. During the melatonin infusion, the plasma hormone level reached a steady-state after 60 and 120 min, and when it was equal to the nocturnal level.[Mallo C et al; Eur J Clin Pharmacol 38 (3): 297-301 (1990)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • HUMAN EXPOSURE STUDIES: To determine whether melatonin pharmacokinetics change during puberty, ... melatonin /was infused/ iv in 9 prepubertal, 8 pubertal, and 16 adult subjects and melatonin in serum and saliva and 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate in urine /were measured/. A pilot study of 3 adult males showed dose linearity, absence of saturation kinetics, and unaltered metabolism and urinary excretion for doses of 0.1, 0.5, and 5.0 ug/kg. All other subjects received 0.5 ug/kg melatonin. The results of pharmacokinetic parameters calculated from serum melatonin showed no significant gender differences in adults. However, developmental differences were significant between prepubertal children and adults for terminal elimination rate constant (1.08 +/- 0.25 vs. 0.89 +/- 0.11 per hr), elimination half-life (0.67 +/- 0.12 vs. 0.79 +/- 0.10 hr), and area under the concentration-time curve (250.9 +/- 91.8 vs. 376.9 +/- 154.3 (pg/mL)hr, respectively). At all time points melatonin levels were higher in serum than in saliva, and the ratio between serum and salivary melatonin varied up to 55-fold within and between individuals. Results based on salivary melatonin showed significant differences between prepubertal children and adults for the terminal elimination rate constant (1.90 +/- 0.95 vs. 1.06 +/- 0.28 per hr). The described group differences in pharmacokinetic parameters suggest that prepubertal children metabolize melatonin faster than adults. The inconsistent ratio between serum and salivary melatonin calls for caution in the use of salivary melatonin for pharmacokinetic studies or to infer pineal function. The present findings, suggestive of faster melatonin metabolism in prepubertal children, combined with the known decline of serum melatonin with age and higher excretion rate of the metabolite in prepubertal children lead us to conclude that the prepubertal pineal gland has a higher melatonin secretion rate than the adult gland.[Cavallo A et al; J Clin Endocrinol Metab 81 (5): 1882-6 (1996)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • OTHER TOXICITY INFORMATION: Melatonin is an indoleamine that is synthesized in the pineal gland and has an extensive repertoire of biological activities. In the present study, /the authors/ found that melatonin reduced the growth of the human myeloid leukemia cells HL-60, inhibiting progression from G(1) to S phase of the cell cycle and increasing apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, melatonin treatment elevated cytochrome c release from mitochondria and augmented caspase-3 and caspase-9 activities. Upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2 was also observed upon melatonin treatment. The effects of melatonin were found not to be mediated by membrane receptors for the indoleamine. Together, /the/ results suggest that melatonin reduces the viability of HL-60 cells via induction of apoptosis primarily through regulation of Bax/Bcl-2 expression.[Rubio S et al; J Pineal Res 42 (2): 131-8 (2007)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: ...in all cases, the dose administered were in the pharmacological range (1-36 mg). Individual patients exhibited, autoimmune hepatitis, confusion, optic neuropathy, a psychotic episode, headache, or nistagmus. Four /patients/ suffered fragmented sleep, four described seizures, and two exhibited skin eruptions.[Wurtman RJ; p. 457-466 in Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements; Coates PM et al, eds (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Doses <8 mg have reportedly induced heavy head, headache, and transient depression. May aggravate depression in patients with psychiatric illness... Some studies suggest melatonin may deepen depression in those who have it or induce it in those susceptible to it.[Duke, JA. Melatonin. In Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (2nd ed).p. 498. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL (2002)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: The most commonly reported adverse effects of melatonin were nausea (incidence: ~ 1.5 percent), headache (incidence: ~ 7.8 percent), dizziness (incidence: 4.0 percent), and drowsiness (incidence: 20.33 percent); however, these effects were not significant compared to placebo.[US Department of Health and Human Services; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Archive: Melatonin for Treatment of Sleep Disorders; Available from, as of January 29, 2014: http://archive.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/melatsum.htm] **PEER REVIEWED**

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Non-Human Toxicity Excerpts

  • GENOTOXICITY: Melatonin, at doses of 5, 50, 500 and 5000 ug/plate, was reported negative in an Ames assay in Salmonella typhimurium strains TA97, TA98 and TA100 both with and without metabolic activation with rat liver S9.[Neville S et al; J Pineal Research 6: 73-76 (1989)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • LABORATORY ANIMALS: Acute Exposure: ... In this pharmacokinetic and safety study, melatonin in propylene glycol was evaluated in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Following a single i.v. injection at 5 or 15 mg/kg, plasma concentrations of melatonin increased to 39 and 199 million pg/mL at 2 min and 128,000 and 772,000 pg/mL at 120 min. Within 60 min of injection, the blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature remained unaffected. Melatonin at 5 mg/kg did not influence the complete blood counts at 60 min, but melatonin at 15 mg/kg had some effects on the differential white cell and platelet counts. Melatonin at 5 or 15 mg/kg slightly elevated some liver enzymes at 60 min of injection, and melatonin at higher dose also elevated plasma creatinine and lactate dehydrogenase levels. At 24 hr after completion of six daily injections of melatonin, there was a 5.5% reduction in body weight. Gross postmortem examination and histological examination of the brain, kidney, liver and spleen did not reveal any evidence of toxicity. In conclusion, melatonin in propylene glycol markedly elevates plasma levels of melatonin with no serious toxicity. This preparation should be further evaluated in human patients.[Cheyng RT et al; J Pineal Res 41 (4): 337-43 (2006)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • LABORATORY ANIMALS: Acute Exposure: Catecholamines play an important role in the hypothalamic regulation of the synthesis and secretion of gonadotropin- releasing hormone, or gonadoliberin. /The author has/ shown that melatonin and the pineal gland peptides (epithalamine and epitalon) exert a correcting influence on the diurnal dynamics of norepinephrine (NE) in the medial preoptic area (MPA) and of dopamine (DA) in the median eminence with arcuate nuclei (ME-Arc) disturbed by single administration of the neurotoxic xenobiotic 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) in female rats. It has been found that experiments with DMH administration can be used as an animal model of female reproductive system premature aging. The investigation of epithalamine (a polypeptide preparation from the bovine pineal gland) effect on circadian rhythms disturbed by the neurotoxic compound DMH has shown a recovery of the diurnal dynamics of NE in MPA. In addition, NE was found to decrease from 9:30 till 11 o'clock, Circadian Time (CT), which was typical of control animals. Epitalon (Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly) proved to be more effective in ME-Arc. This peptide prevents the xenobiotic caused disturbance of DA diurnal rhythm, keeping this metabolite low at 5 o'clock (CT) with it having increased by 11 o'clock (CT). The data obtained suggest that the pineal gland is important for the circadian signal normalization needed for gonadoliberin surge on the day of proestrus. Melatonin and peptides of the pineal gland can be considered as effective protectors of female reproductive system from xenobiotics and premature aging.[Arutjunyan A et al; Curr Aging Sci 5 (3): 178-85 (2012)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • LABORATORY ANIMALS: Developmental or Reproductive Toxicity: Melatonin (MEL) is a widely used, over-the-counter sleep aid, and it has putative contraceptive, antioxidant, antiaging, and anticancer effects. The developmental toxicity potential for repeated oral doses of MEL had not previously been evaluated. In the present studies, time-mated, Sprague-Dawley-derived (CD) rats were administered MEL or vehicle by gavage on gestation days (gd) 6-19. MEL-treated groups received 1-, 10-, 100-, 150-, or 200-mg/kg body weight/day in the screening study (15 rats/group), and 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg/day in the definitive study (25 rats/group). In both studies, maternal food/water consumption, body weight, and clinical signs were monitored at regular intervals throughout gestation. At termination (gd 20, both studies), maternal liver and gravid uterine weights, number of ovarian corpora lutea, conceptus survival, fetal sex, and fetal body weight were evaluated. Fetal morphological examination included external structures (both studies) as well as visceral and skeletal structures (definitive study). In the screening study, maternal serum levels of 17beta-estradiol, progesterone, prolactin, and luteinizing hormone were determined by radioimmunoassay, and mammary tissue was fixed, stained, and evaluated for percent glandular area within the fat pad. No maternal morbidity/mortality was found in either study. In the screening study, aversion to treatment (> or =100 mg/kg/day) and reduced maternal weight gain (> or =150 mg/kg/day) were noted, but reproductive/endocrine parameters and fetal development were not affected. In the definitive study, aversion to treatment was noted at > or =50 mg/kg/day, and mild sedation, reduced maternal food intake, and reduced body weight gain were found during initial treatment with 200 mg/kg/day. MEL had no effect on prenatal survival, fetal body weight, or incidences of fetal malformations/variations. Thus, in the definitive study, the maternal toxicity NOAEL and LOAEL were 100 and 200 mg/kg/day, respectively, and the developmental toxicity NOAEL was > or =200 mg/kg/day.[Jahnke G et al; Toxicol Sci 50 (2): 271-9 (1999)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • LABORATORY ANIMALS: Subchronic or Prechronic Exposure: Three groups of four primiparous Holstein-Friesian heifers were fed throughout pregnancy either a control diet or that diet supplemented with either 5 to 6 g per day of rumen-protected intestinally available methionine or 25 mg melatonin. They were euthanazed three days after calving. The dietary supplements had no effect on the impression hardness or the concentrations of cysteine and methionine in samples of claw horn collected from a range of sites, or on the areas of erosion in the sole and heel. Significant differences were recorded for the hardness of the horn in the order wall >sole >heel. These differences were associated with higher concentrations of cysteine and lower concentrations of methionine in samples of horn from the dorsal wall than in samples from the prebulbar region of the sole. There were no significant differences attributable to the dietary supplements in the soft tissue anatomy of the solear dermis and epidermis.[Galbraith H et al; Vet Rec 158 (1): 21 (2006)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • OTHER TOXICITY INFORMATION: Melatonin is synthesized at night in the human pineal gland and released into the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. It acts on the brains of humans to promote sleep, and also influences the phasing of sleep and various other circadian rhythms. During the day, plasma melatonin levels are low; at night, they rise 10 to 100-fold or more in young adults, but by considerably less in older people- who often may have frequent nocturnal awakenings as a consequence. Very small oral doses of melatonin raise daytime plasma melatonin to night-time levels, thus making it easier for people to fall asleep in the afternoon or evening. Such doses can also help older people remain asleep during the night. Melatonin has also occasionally been claimed to confer other medical benefits e.g. preventing such age-related diseases as atherosclerosis, cancer, and alzheimer's disease. The evidence in such claims is sparse.[Wurtman RJ; p. 457-464 in Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements; Coates PM, Blackman MR, eds (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED**

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Human Toxicity Values

  • None found

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Non-Human Toxicity Values

  • None found

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Absorption, Distribution And Excretion

  • ... In a randomized and double-blind controlled study 10 healthy male subjects undertook an 80 min intensive hypertrophic heavy resistance exercise session (RES) for major muscles of the lower and upper extremities. The subjects were studied on two occasions receiving either melatonin (6 mg) or placebo (6 mg) in random order 60 min before each RES. Blood samples were taken from an antecubital vein both in fasting conditions in the morning and before RES (pre 60 min, pre 0 min), during RES (middle) and after RES (post 0 min, post 15 min, post 30 min, post 60 min). ... The serum melatonin concentration increased significantly (P<0.05-0.001) in the melatonin group following oral ingestion of melatonin and was elevated at every time point after that. The concentration reached a peak value of 1171.3+/-235.2 pg/mL in 60 min at pre 0. Serum melatonin increased slightly but significantly (P<0.05) also in the placebo group just before RES, in the middle of RES and after RES (post 0, post 15). There were large differences (P<0.01-0.001) in the serum melatonin concentration between the groups at all time points. ...[Mero AA et al; Eur J Appl Physiol 96 (6): 729-39 (2006)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • ...In vitro metabolism studies with fresh liver slices from rats as well as human donors were conducted to compare the initial rates of metabolism of melatonin between the two species and the results suggest that the intrinsic clearance of melatonin in humans may be lower than that in rats.[Yeleswaram K et al; J Pineal Res 22 (1): 45-51 (1997)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • ...In vitro permeability studies with CACO-2 cells suggest that melatonin is likely to be well absorbed in humans...[Yeleswaram K et al; J Pineal Res 22 (1): 45-51 (1997)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • ...Pharmacokinetics of melatonin was studied in rats, dogs, and monkeys following intravenous and oral administrations, and the absolute oral bioavailability of melatonin was calculated from the area under the plasma concentration-time curve. The apparent elimination half-life of melatonin following an intravenous dose of 3 mg/kg (5 mg/kg in rats) was 19.8, 18.6, and 34.2 minutes, respectively, in rats, dogs, and monkeys. The dose normalized oral bioavailability of melatonin following a 10 mg/kg oral dose was 53.5% in rats, while it was in excess of 100% in dogs and monkeys. Further, bioavailability of melatonin following a 10 mg/kg intraperitoneal administration in rats was 74.0%, suggesting the lack of substantial first-pass hepatic extraction of melatonin in rats. However, the oral bioavailability of melatonin in dogs decreased to 16.9% following a 1 mg/kg oral dose, indicating dose-dependent bioavailability in dogs.[Yeleswaram K et al; J Pineal Res 22 (1): 45-51 (1997)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • ...Rats (n = 8) were given melatonin both intranasally in one nostril (40 ug/rat) and intravenously by bolus injection (40 ug/rat) into the jugular vein using a Vascular Access Port. Just before and after drug administration, blood and CSF samples were taken and analyzed by HPLC. ...Melatonin is quickly absorbed in plasma (T(max) = 2.5 min) and shows a delayed uptake into CSF (T(max) = 15 min) after nasal administration. The melatonin concentration-time profiles in plasma and CSF are comparable to those after intravenous delivery. The AUC(CSF)/AUC(plasma) ratio after nasal delivery (32.7 +/- 6.3%) does not differ from the one after intravenous injection (46.0 +/- 10.4%), which indicates that melatonin enters the CSF via the blood circulation across the blood-brain barrier. This demonstrates that there is no additional transport via the nose-CSF pathway. These results resemble the outcome of a human study...[van den Berg MP et al; Pharm Res 21 (5): 799-802 (2004)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • About 2-3% is excreted unchanged into the urine or saliva, enabling measurements of urinary or salivary melatonin to be used as rough estimates of plasma melatonin levels. (Salivary melatonin apparently corresponds to the 25-30% of blood melatonin that is not bound to albumin.)[Wurtman RJ; p. 457-464 in Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements; Coates PM, Blackman MR, eds (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • Age-related changes in levels of melatonin and 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate and effects of dietary melatonin on their levels in different tissues were determined in mice. Levels of melatonin were highest in the serum followed by liver, kidney, cerebral cortex and heart as measured by a quantitative and sensitive enzyme-labeled immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Serum melatonin levels decreased with age, and were reduced by 80% in 27-month old mice relative to 12-month old mice. Levels of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate were measured independently in various tissues. Levels of the melatonin metabolite, 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate were significantly higher than free melatonin in all tissues tested. Levels of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate were highest in the cerebral cortex followed by the serum, heart, kidney, and liver. In 12-month old mice 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate concentration was approximately 1000-fold greater than that of melatonin in the cerebral cortex, it was only 3-fold greater than melatonin levels in the serum. Thus only 0.1% of total melatonin in the brain was present in the free and unconjugated form but the corresponding value for serum was 27.4%. The cerebral cortex had the highest levels of combined melatonin and 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate than other tissue tested in control mice. There was no significant change in 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate levels between young and old mice. There was also no age-dependent change in levels of serotonin or cortisol in the serum samples. Dietary supplementation with melatonin resulted in a significant increase in levels of melatonin in the serum and all other tissue samples tested...[Lahiri DK et al; J Pineal Res 36 (4): 217-23 (2004)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • Melatonin is highly lipid soluble, because both the ionizable groups in serotonin-the hydroxyl and the amine- have been blocked by its O-methylation and N-acetylation. Thus, it diffuses freely across cell membranes into all tissues, and travels in the the blood largely bound to albumin.[Wurtman RJ; p. 457-464 in Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements; Coates PM, Blackman MR, eds (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • Melatonin secretion by the human pineal gland exhibits a pronounced age dependence. Secretion is minimal in newborns, starts during the third or fourth months of life (coincident with the consolidation of sleeping at night), increases rapidly at ages 1-3 years, and then declines slightly to a plateau that persists through early adulthood. Nocturnal melatonin secretion then starts a marked continuing decline in most people, with peak nocturnal levels in most 70 year-olds being only a quarter or less of what they are in young adults.[Wurtman RJ; p. 457-464 in Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements; Coates PM, Blackman MR, eds (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • The pharmacokinetics of melatonin during the day-time has been studied in 4 healthy subjects after a bolus i.v. injection of 5 or 10 ug/person and after a 5 hr infusion of 20 ug per person in 6 healthy subjects. In addition, a pinealomectomized patient whose nocturnal plasma melatonin had been abolished was investigated after the i.v. infusion--once during the night and once during the day. The clearance of melatonin from blood showed a biexponential decay. The pharmacokinetic parameters in the two studies were similar, except for the disappearance rate constant beta and the apparent volume of distribution at steady-state (Vss). Supplementary peaks or troughs were superimposed on the plateau and the falling part of the profile. They were not due to stimulation of endogenous secretion, because they were also seen in the pinealomectomized patient. During the melatonin infusion, the plasma hormone level reached a steady-state after 60 and 120 min, and when it was equal to the nocturnal level.[Mallo C et al; Eur J Clin Pharmacol 38 (3): 297-301 (1990)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • To determine whether melatonin pharmacokinetics change during puberty, ... melatonin /was infused/ iv in 9 prepubertal, 8 pubertal, and 16 adult subjects and melatonin in serum and saliva and 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate in urine /were measured/. A pilot study of 3 adult males showed dose linearity, absence of saturation kinetics, and unaltered metabolism and urinary excretion for doses of 0.1, 0.5, and 5.0 ug/kg. All other subjects received 0.5 ug/kg melatonin. The results of pharmacokinetic parameters calculated from serum melatonin showed no significant gender differences in adults. However, developmental differences were significant between prepubertal children and adults for terminal elimination rate constant (1.08 +/- 0.25 vs. 0.89 +/- 0.11 per hr), elimination half-life (0.67 +/- 0.12 vs. 0.79 +/- 0.10 hr), and area under the concentration-time curve (250.9 +/- 91.8 vs. 376.9 +/- 154.3 (pg/mL)hr, respectively). At all time points melatonin levels were higher in serum than in saliva, and the ratio between serum and salivary melatonin varied up to 55-fold within and between individuals. Results based on salivary melatonin showed significant differences between prepubertal children and adults for the terminal elimination rate constant (1.90 +/- 0.95 vs. 1.06 +/- 0.28 per hr). The described group differences in pharmacokinetic parameters suggest that prepubertal children metabolize melatonin faster than adults. The inconsistent ratio between serum and salivary melatonin calls for caution in the use of salivary melatonin for pharmacokinetic studies or to infer pineal function. The present findings, suggestive of faster melatonin metabolism in prepubertal children, combined with the known decline of serum melatonin with age and higher excretion rate of the metabolite in prepubertal children lead us to conclude that the prepubertal pineal gland has a higher melatonin secretion rate than the adult gland.[Cavallo A et al; J Clin Endocrinol Metab 81 (5): 1882-6 (1996)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract

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Metabolism/Metabolites

  • In humans, the pineal hormone melatonin (MEL) is principally metabolized to 6-hydroxymelatonin (6-HMEL), which is further conjugated with sulfate and excreted in urine. MEL O-demethylation represents a minor reaction. The exact role of individual human cytochromes P450 (P450s) in these pathways has not been established. /The authors/ used a panel of 11 recombinant human P450 isozymes to investigate for the first time the 6-hydroxylation and O-demethylation of MEL. CYP1A1, CYP1A2, and CYP1B1 all 6-hydroxylated MEL, with CYP2C19 playing a minor role. These reactions were NADPH-dependent. CYP2C19 and, to some extent CYP1A2, O-demethylated MEL. The K(m) (uM) and V(max) (k(cat), pmol/ min/ pmol P450) for 6-hydroxylation were estimated as 19.2 +/- 2.01 and 6.46 +/- 0.22 (CYP1A1), 25.9 +/- 2.47 and 10.6 +/- 0.32 (CYP1A2), and 30.9 +/- 3.76 and 5.31 +/- 0.21 (CYP1B1). These findings confirm the suggestion of others that CYP1A2 is probably the foremost hepatic P450 in the 6-hydroxylation of MEL and a single report that CYP1A1 is also able to mediate this reaction. However, this is the first time that CYP1B1 has been shown to 6-hydroxylate MEL. The IC50 for the CYP1B1-selective inhibitor (E)-2,4,3',5'-tetramethoxystilbene was estimated to be 30 nM for MEL 6-hydroxylation by recombinant human CYP1B1. Comparison of brain homogenates from wild-type and cyp1b1-null mice revealed that MEL 6-hydroxylation was clearly mediated to a significant degree by CYP1B1. CYP1B1 is not expressed in the liver but has a ubiquitous extrahepatic distribution, and is found at high levels in tissues that also accumulate either MEL or 6-HMEL, such as intestine and cerebral cortex, where it may assist in regulating levels of MEL and 6-HMEL.[Ma X et al; Drug Metab Dispos 33 (4): 489-94 (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
  • Melatonin is synthesized at night in the human pineal gland and released into the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. It acts on the brains of humans to promote sleep, and also influences the phasing of sleep and various other circadian rhythms. During the day, plasma melatonin levels are low; at night, they rise 10 to 100-fold or more in young adults, but by considerably less in older people- who often may have frequent nocturnal awakenings as a consequence. Very small oral doses of melatonin raise daytime plasma melatonin to night-time levels, thus making it easier for people to fall asleep in the afternoon or evening. Such doses can also help older people remain asleep during the night. Melatonin has also occasionally been claimed to confer other medical benefits e.g. preventing such age-related diseases as atherosclerosis, cancer, and alzheimer's disease. The evidence in such claims is sparse.[Wurtman RJ; p. 457-464 in Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements; Coates PM, Blackman MR, eds (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • Most of the melatonin in the circulation is inactivated in the liver where it is first oxidized to 6-hydroxy melatonin by a P450-dependent microsomal oxidase and then largely conjugated to sulfate or glucuronide before being excreted into urine or feces.[Wurtman RJ; p. 457-464 in Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements; Coates PM, Blackman MR, eds (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED**

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Tsca Test Submissions

  • None found

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Footnotes

1 Source: the NTP's CEBS database.

2 Source: the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substance Database, 02/28/2017.

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