Melatonin content in plasma and large intestine of patients with colorectal carcinoma before and after surgery

Published on Wednesday, 26 August 2015


The distinct melatonin rhythm with higher concentrations during the darktime was found in plasma of both control patients and patients with colorectal carcinoma.

Moderate surgery did not induce any changes in plasma melatonin levels, but a pronounced increase in both the day- and nighttime melatonin concentrations was found after surgical treatment for colon cancer.

The melatonin content in the tumor tissue did not differ from that in the proximal and the distal parts of the resected gut, which were without signs of malignant changes. Neither concentrations of serotonin nor 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid differed among analyzed parts of the gut.

Daytime melatonin concentrations in gut tissue (314.7 +/- 87.8 pg/g of wet tissue) were more than ten times higher than the daytime levels in circulation.

It was hypothesized that increased levels of this hormone in the gastrointestinal tract may play an important protective role against the development of colorectal cancer via stimulation of the immune system, protection against free radicals, and interaction with fatty acid uptake and metabolism.



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