Male C57Bl/6J mice were exposed to daily 24-h illumination over 14 days and daily intragastrically received melatonin (1 mg/kg) or water (placebo). Controls were kept under standard day/night (14/10 h) conditions. Melatonin prevented the development of anemia in mice exposed to continuous illumination, which was proven by higher blood hemoglobin levels by the end of the experiment in melatonin-treated animals in comparison with the placebo group. Studies by the low-field NMR spectrometry detected lower lean body mass, total body water, and especially, fat content (by ~13%) in animals receiving placebo. Melatonin treatment led to an increase in the lean body mass and total body water on day 7 (in comparison with the placebo group) without affecting fat mass. On day 14 of continuous illumination, lean body mass increased in comparison with the corresponding parameter in the control and placebo groups. Melatonin had no effect on the physical endurance of mice exposed to continuous illumination (assessed by the grid hanging test).
Keywords: body composition; continuous illumination; hemoglobin; melatonin; physical endurance.