Alterations of pineal gland and of T lymphocyte subsets in metastatic cancer patients: preliminary results

P. Lissoni, G. Tancini, S. Barni, S. Viviani, C. G. Archili Cattaneo, G. Fiorelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Melatonin (MLT), the main hormone produced by the pineal gland, has been seen to play a role in antineoplastic activity either by exerting a direct inhibitory effect on cancer cell growth, or by stimulating the immune system. Moreover, MLT blood levels have been shown to be often increased in cancer patients. On the basis of these data, a study was started to evaluate what relation exists between MLT levels and T lymphocyte subsets in patients with metastatic solid neoplasm. The study included 28 patients (breast: 10; non-small cell lung: 18). None of the patients was previously treated for their metastatic disease. Abnormally high MLT levels and a low T helper/suppressor ratio (DC4/CD8) were seen in 10/28 and in 11/28 patients, respectively. Serum mean levels of MLT were significantly higher in patients with low CD4/CD8 ratio than in those with a normal ratio. These results would suggest that immune dysfunctions may represent a signal for MLT release from the pineal in patients with metastatic solid neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-183
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Volume3
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)

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