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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Relationship between melatonin rhythms and visual loss in the blind.

Melatonin rhythms were assessed in 49 registered blind individuals by measurement of the urinary metabolite of melatonin, 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s). Subjects had different causes of visual loss and were classified as having light perception or better (LP; n = 19) or having no perception of light ( NPL; n = 30). Subjects collected four-hourly urine samples (eight-hourly overnight) for 48 h at weekly intervals for 3-5 weeks. The majority of LP subjects (14 of 19) had normally entrained aMT6s rhythms (mean acrophase range, 2.4-6.2 h), 4 were abnormally entrained to 24 h (mean acrophase range, 8.9-1.0 h), and 1 was unclassified. Conversely, most NPL subjects had abnormal rhythms (23 of 30), the incidence of which was greater in uni- and bilaterally enucleated subjects. The majority of NPL subjects (17 of 30) had free-running aMT6s rhythms period range, 24.13-24.79 h), 5 were abnormally entrained to 24 h (acrophase range, 7.2-20.6 h), and 1 was unclassified. Output (micrograms of aMT6s per 24 h) and amplitude (micrograms per h) of aMT6s production did not vary between LP and NPL subjects (mean 24-h output +/- SD, 12.7 +/- 7.5 and 9.4 +/- 6.4 micrograms aMT6s/24 h, respectively; mean amplitude +/- SD, 0.6 +/- 0.4 and 0.5 +/- 0.3 microgram/h, respectively). These results indicate that a higher proportion of NPL subjects have abnormal melatonin rhythms compared to those with LP.[1]


  1. Relationship between melatonin rhythms and visual loss in the blind. Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., Arendt, J., Tabandeh, H., Bird, A.C., Defrance, R. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1997) [Pubmed]
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