Mice convert melatonin to 6-sulphatoxymelatonin.


The principal objective of this study was to establish whether mice can convert melatonin to 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT6s). Precision-cut liver slices from C3H/He, C57BL/6, and BALB/c mice were incubated with melatonin, and the concentration of aMT6s in the culture media was determined using a sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay procedure. All three strains of mice generated aMT6s in a time-dependent manner; no significant strain differences were observed. When samples of the media were treated with sulphatase prior to analysis, aMT6s was not detectable. In contrast, similar treatment with beta-glucuronidase had no effect. 6-Sulphatoxymelatonin was present in the urine of both control and melatonin-treated C3H/He and C57BL6 mice. Treatment with melatonin led to a dramatic rise in the urinary levels of aMT6s in both mouse strains. Pre-treatment of the urines with sulphatase, but not beta-glucuronidase, markedly decreased the levels of aMT6s. Finally, in both strains urinary excretion of aMT6s displayed diurnal rhythmicity, peak excretion occurring during the dark hours. It may be inferred that: (a) mice can convert melatonin to aMT6s, both in vivo and in vitro, and (b) mice generate aMT6s in a rhythmic manner. Finally, the present studies confirm that determination of aMT6s rhythms in mice could provide an alternative, non-invasive, approach for assessing circadian clock function.

Cite this paper

@article{Skene2006MiceCM, title={Mice convert melatonin to 6-sulphatoxymelatonin.}, author={Debra Jean Skene and Sarah E Timbers and B . A . Middleton and Judie English and Caroline Kopp and Irene Tobler and Costas Ioannides}, journal={General and comparative endocrinology}, year={2006}, volume={147 3}, pages={371-6} }