Circadian determinations of cortisol, prolactin and melatonin in chronic methyl-phenyl-tetrahydropyridine-treated monkeys

Neuroendocrinology. 2003 Aug;78(2):118-28. doi: 10.1159/000071967.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether prolactin, melatonin and cortisol are altered in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated monkeys and if so, whether MPTP may alter the availability of these hormones in chronic experimental parkinsonism. Furthermore, vegetative and sleep disorders have been described in both parkinsonian patients and in MPTP chronic monkeys; these may result indirectly from concomitant hormonal variations. Seven adult male cynomolgus monkeys were used for this experiment. Five were treated with systemic doses of intravenous MPTP but not with L-DOPA or dopaminergic agonists. In their 3rd year of parkinsonism, plasma samples were obtained day and night at 3-hour intervals. Sample collection was repeated three times for each animal. Prolactin, melatonin and cortisol concentrations were determined by enzyme immunoassay and compared with samples taken from the control group. Both MPTP-treated monkeys and the control group displayed a similar secretion pattern for the three hormones, except at several specific times when prolactin and melatonin showed significant differences. No changes were found for cortisol. The results suggest a possible alteration of hormonal metabolism in chronic MPTP parkinsonian monkeys.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism*
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • MPTP Poisoning / metabolism
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Melatonin / metabolism*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Prolactin / metabolism*
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Prolactin
  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Melatonin
  • Hydrocortisone