Altered basal and postprandial plasma melatonin, gastrin, ghrelin, leptin and insulin in patients with liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension without and with oral administration of melatonin or tryptophan

K. Celinski, P. C. Konturek, M. Slomka, H. Cichoz-Lach, M. Gonciarz, W. Bielanski, R. J. Reiter, S. J. Konturek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


This investigation was designed to assess the effects of oral administration of melatonin (10 mg) and tryptophan (Trp) (500 mg) on fasting and postprandial plasma levels of melatonin, gastrin, ghrelin, leptin and insulin in 10 healthy controls and in age-matched patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) and portal hypertension. Fasting plasma melatonin levels in LC patients were about five times higher (102 ± 15 pg/mL) than in healthy controls (22 ± 3 pg/mL). These levels significantly increased postprandially in LC patients, but significantly less so in controls. Treatment with melatonin or l-Trp resulted in a further significant rise in plasma melatonin, both under fasting and postprandial conditions, particularly in LC patients. Moreover, plasma gastrin, ghrelin, leptin and insulin levels under fasting and postprandial conditions were significantly higher in LC subjects than in healthy controls and they further rose significantly after oral application of melatonin or Trp. This study shows that: (a) patients with LC and portal hypertension exhibit significantly higher fasting and postprandial plasma melatonin levels than healthy subjects; (b) plasma ghrelin, both in LC and healthy controls reach the highest values under fasting conditions, but decline postprandially, especially after oral application of melatonin or Trp; and (c) plasma melatonin, gastrin, ghrelin and insulin levels are altered significantly in LC patients with portal hypertension compared with that in healthy controls possibly due to their portal systemic shunting and decreased liver degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-414
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Gastrin
  • Ghrelin
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Melatonin
  • Portal hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this