Skip to main content

Diurnal Rhythm of Melatonin in Bovine Milk: Pharmacokinetics of Exogenous Melatonin in Lactating Cows and Goats

Abstract

We investigated whether the melatonin levels in bovine milk exhibit a similar daily rhythm as serum levels. In 4 Ayr-shire cows at the beginning of the lactation period in May the nocturnal rise in milk melatonin was moderate (from 7 ± 2 pg/ml at noon to 15 ± 1 pg/ml at night; mean ± SEM) and did not correlate well with the melatonin level in serum (from 7 ± 2 pg/ml to 27 ± 7 pg/ml, respectively). On the other hand, 6 cows in a later phase of lactation, studied in February, showed a clear long-lasting nocturnal melatonin increase both in serum (from 9 ± 1 pg/ml at noon to 26 ± 3 pg/ml at night) and in milk (from 12 ± 5 pg/ml to 26 ± 7 pg/ml, respectively).

Melatonin kinetics during lactation was studied in more detail in 4 Ayrshire cows and 4 dairy goats by giving an intravenous bolus injection of melatonin. A 3-compartment model with melatonin elimination from the central compartment was used to describe the data. The values (mean ± SD) for the cows and the goats were: elimination half-life 27 ± 4 min and 27 ± 1 min, mean residence time 24 ± 4 min and 18 ± 4 min, steady state distribution volume 1.0 ± 0.3 1/kg and 0.6 ± 0.1 1/kg (p<0.05), and plasma clearance 0.044 ± 0.004 1/kg/min and 0.035 ±0.011 1/kg/min, respectively. Following injection, the melatonin concentration in milk increased rapidly and exceeded the corresponding serum value 15-30 min later, remaining thereafter above the serum level. Our results suggest that milk melatonin levels reflect blood concentrations of melatonin with a short delay.

References

  • Berthelot X, Laurentie M, Ravault JP, Ferney J, Toutain PL: Circadian profile and production rate of melatonin in the cow. Dom. Anim. Endocrinol, 1990, 7, 315–322.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Berthelot X, Ravault JP, Concordei D, Ferney J, Toutain PL: Absence of circadian rhythm in the disposition of melatonin in the cow. J. Pineal Res., 1993, 15, 141–146.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brown GM, Seggie J, Grota LJ: Serum melatonin response to melatonin adminstration in the Syrian hamster. Neuroendocrinology, 1985, 47, 31–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cavallo A, Ritschel WA: Pharmacokinetics of melatonin in human sexual maturation. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 1996, 81, 1882–1886.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • English J, Bojkowski CJ, Poulton AL, Symons AM, Arendt J: Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of melatonin in the ewe. J. Pineal Res., 1987, 4, 351–358.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eriksson L, Laitinen JT, Hackzell M, Valtonen M: Distribution of exogenous melatonin in serum, milk and urine of the goat. Acta Physiol. Scand., 1993, 149, 24A.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fraser S, Cowen P, Franklin M, Franey C, Arendt J: Direct radioimmunoassay for melatonin in plasma. Clin. Chem., 1983, 29, 396–397.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gibbs FP, Vriend J: The half-life of melatonin elimination from rat plasma. Endocrinology, 1981, 109, 1796–1798.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guillaume D, Rio N, Toutain PL: Kinetic studies and production rate of melatonin in pony mares. Am. J. Physiol., 1995, 268, R1236–R1241.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Illnerová H, Buresová M, Presi J: Melatonin rhythm in human milk. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 1993, 77, 838–841.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Koldovsky O, Illnerová H, Macho L, Strbák V, Stepánková R: Milk-borne hormones: Possible tools of communication between mother and suckling. Physiol. Res., 1995, 44, 349–351.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Laitinen JT, Vakkuri O, Kotilainen T, Alanko M: Melatonin secretion patterns in bovine: Large individual variation in serum but not in milk. Program of the XIII Spring Meeting of the Finnish Endocrine Society, Kuopio, 1986, p. 13 (Abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  • Laitinen J, Vakkuri O: Breast-feeding provides rhythmic source of melatonin to the infant. Program of the First Europ. Congr. Endocr., Copenhagen, 1987, p. 130 (Abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  • Lincoln GA: Photoperiod-pineal-hypothalamic relay in sheep. Anim. Peprod. Sci., 1992, 28, 203–217.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Martin TC, Gunningham NF, Saba N: Estimation of melatonin in bovine plasma: patterns in Jersey heifers treated with cloprostenol at two times of day. J. Endocrinol., 1983, 98, 189–196.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Recio J, Mediavilla MD, Cardinali DP, Sánchez-Barceló EJ: Pharmacological profile and diurnal rhythmicity of 2-[125I]-iodomelatonin binding sites in murine mammary tissue. J. Pineal Res., 1994, 16, 10–17.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sánchez-Barceló EJ, Mediavilla MD, Zinn SA, Buchanan BA, Chapin LT, Tucker HA: Melatonin suppression of mammary growth in heifers. Biol. Reprod., 1991, 44, 875–879.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • San Martin M, Recio J, Sánchez-Barceló EJ, Mediavilla MD: Melatonin inhibits mammary gland development during pregnancy. Neuroendocrinol. Lett., 1995, 77, 245–250.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stanisewski EP, Chopin LT, Ames NK, Zinn SA, Tucker HA: Melatonin and prolactin concentrations in blood of cattle exposed to 8,16,24 hours of daily light. J. Anim. Sci., 1988, 66, 727–734.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vakkuri O, Leppäluoto J, Kauppila A: Oral administration and distribution of melatonin in human serum, saliva and urine. Life Sci., 1985, 37, 489–495.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Valtonen M, Laitinen JT, Eriksson L: Renal melatonin excretion in sheep is enhanced by water diuresis. J. Endocrinol., 1993, 138, 445–450.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yamaoka K, Nakagawa T, Uno T: Application of Akaike's information criterion (AIC) in the evaluation of linear pharmacokinetic equation. J. Pharmacokinet. Biopharm., 1978a, 6, 165–175.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yamaoka K, Nakagawa T, Uno T: Statistical moments in pharmacokinetics. J. Pharmacokinet. Biopharm., 1978b, 6, 547–558.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors thank S. Kukkonen, R. Savolainen, and A. Tuori for expert technical assistance. A preliminary report of the data in the goats was presented at the Baltic/Scandinavian Physiology Meeting, Tartu, Estonia, May 1993.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to L. Eriksson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Eriksson, L., Valtonen, M., Laitinen, J.T. et al. Diurnal Rhythm of Melatonin in Bovine Milk: Pharmacokinetics of Exogenous Melatonin in Lactating Cows and Goats. Acta Vet Scand 39, 301–310 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547778

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547778

Keywords

  • lactation period
  • season
  • ruminant