Melatonin secreted by the pineal gland plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure (BP) and its administration reduces hypertension both in animals and humans. There are two experimental models of melatonindeficient hypertension: one induced by pinealectomy and another by continuous 24 hour exposure to light. Both models cause melatonin deficiency and prevent darknessmediated nocturnal melatonin secretion and are associated with increased BP and myocardial, vascular and renal dysfunction. These models also lead to neurohumoral activation of the renin-angiotensin system, sympathetic nervous system, adrenocorticotrophin-glucocorticoid axis and cause insulin resistance. Together, these alterations contribute to rise in blood pressure by vasoconstrictive or circulatory fluid volume overload. The light induced hypertension model mimics the melatonin deficiency in patients with insufficient nocturnal BP decline, in those who have night shift or who are exposed to environmental light pollution. For this reason, this model is useful in development of anti-hypertensive drugs.
- Continuous Light Exposure
- Melatonin Deficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)