Journal Article

Melatonin increases both life span and tumor incidence in female CBA mice

Anisimov, V. N., Zavarzina, N. Y., Zabezhinski, M. A., Popovich, I. G., Zimina, O. A., Shtylick, A. V., Arutjunyan, A. V., Oparina, T. I., Prokopenko, V. M., Michalski, A. I., Yashin, A. I.
Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 56A:7, B311–B323 (2001)


From the age of 6 months until their natural deaths, female CBA mice were given melatonin with their drinking water (20 mg/l) for 5 consecutive days every month. Intact mice served as controls. The results of this study show that the consumption of melatonin did not significantly influence food consumption, but it did increase the body weight of older mice; it did not influ-ence physical strength or the presence of fatigue; it decreased locomotor activity and body temperature; it inhibited free radical processes in serum, brain, and liver; it slowed down the age-related switching-off of estrous function; and it increased life span. However, we also found that treatment with the used dose of melatonin increased spontaneous tumor incidence in mice. For this reason, we concluded that it would be premature to recommend melatonin as a geroprotec-tor for long-term use. (© 2001 THE GERONTOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA)
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