Role of pineal melatonin and melatonin-induced-immuno-opioids in murine leukemogenesis

Med Oncol Tumor Pharmacother. 1992;9(2):87-92.
Conti A, Haran-Ghera N, Maestroni GJ.
Laboratory for Experimental Pathology, Istituto Cantonale di Patologia, Locarno, Switzerland.
Involvement of melatonin-induced-immuno-opioids in the development of the lymphomas. Melatonin 4 mg/kg bw, chronically treated.
Melatonin was blocked by naltrexone.


The relationship between the pineal gland, melatonin and melatonin-induced-immuno-opioids with the response of C57Bl/6 mice to A-RadLV induced T cell lymphomas was investigated. Mice were injected at day 0 with A-RadLV and from day 10 they were treated chronically with melatonin 4 mg/kg body weight, naltrexone 1 mg/kg or phosphate buffered saline, throughout the experiment. In another protocol, groups of mice were a) surgical pinealectomized at day-14, b) functional pinealectomized (24:24 hours light) from day -20 and c) sham pinealectomized. At day 0 each group was inoculated intrathymically with A-RadLV. The results show that melatonin accelerated (p < 0.005) leukemogenesis whereas the surgical pinealectomy and the functional pinealectomy delayed it (p < 0.005 and p < 0.01). Moreover, the action of melatonin was blocked by naltrexone (p < 0.005), indicating the involvement of melatonin-induced-immuno-opioids in the development of the lymphomas.