Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients

John I. Nurnberger, Sherril Adkins, Debomoy K. Lahiri, Aimee Mayeda, Kuolung Hu, Alfred Lewy, Aaron Miller, Elizabeth S. Bowman, Marvin J. Miller, Leela N. Rau, Carrie Smiley, Dawn Davis-Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have suggested that bipolar patients are supersensitive to light suppression of melatonin and that this may be a trait marker for genetic vulnerability. The present study was an attempt to replicate and extend this observation Propranolol hydrochloride effects were compared with light effects because of the documented influence of β- adrenergic receptors on melatonin production. Nighttime levels of corticotropin and cortisol were also examined as potential trait vulnerability markers. Methods: Melatonin levels in euthymic bipolar patients (n=29) were tested before and after 500-lux light was administered between 2 and 4 AM and on a separate night in the dark. Results were compared with those of a group of patients with unipolar depression (n=24) and with those of a group of non-psychiatrically ill control subjects (n=50). Lithium effects and propranolol effects were tested in subgroups. Results: No group differences were seen in light suppression among bipolar patients, unipolar patients, and controls, an analysis of the whole group did not reveal differences in propranolol effect, differences in corticotropin or cortisol levels, or evidence for a lithium effect. However, patients with bipolar 1 affective disorder showed the following: (1) significantly lower melatonin levels on the light night, at baseline and following light exposure, and (2) a later peak time for melatonin on the dark night. Conclusions: The general hypothesis of increased light sensitivity in bipolar patients was not supported. However, melatonin secretion abnormalities were confirmed in the subgroup with bipolar I disorder. Further assessments of circadian rhythm disruption as a vulnerability marker in bipolar illness are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-579
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Volume57
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000

Fingerprint

Melatonin
Light
Propranolol
Lithium
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Hydrocortisone
Photophobia
Depressive Disorder
Circadian Rhythm
Mood Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Genetic Markers
Adrenergic Receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Nurnberger, J. I., Adkins, S., Lahiri, D. K., Mayeda, A., Hu, K., Lewy, A., ... Davis-Singh, D. (2000). Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57(6), 572-579.

Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients. / Nurnberger, John I.; Adkins, Sherril; Lahiri, Debomoy K.; Mayeda, Aimee; Hu, Kuolung; Lewy, Alfred; Miller, Aaron; Bowman, Elizabeth S.; Miller, Marvin J.; Rau, Leela N.; Smiley, Carrie; Davis-Singh, Dawn.

In: Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 57, No. 6, 06.2000, p. 572-579.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nurnberger, JI, Adkins, S, Lahiri, DK, Mayeda, A, Hu, K, Lewy, A, Miller, A, Bowman, ES, Miller, MJ, Rau, LN, Smiley, C & Davis-Singh, D 2000, 'Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients', Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 6, pp. 572-579.
Nurnberger JI, Adkins S, Lahiri DK, Mayeda A, Hu K, Lewy A et al. Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2000 Jun;57(6):572-579.
Nurnberger, John I. ; Adkins, Sherril ; Lahiri, Debomoy K. ; Mayeda, Aimee ; Hu, Kuolung ; Lewy, Alfred ; Miller, Aaron ; Bowman, Elizabeth S. ; Miller, Marvin J. ; Rau, Leela N. ; Smiley, Carrie ; Davis-Singh, Dawn. / Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients. In: Archives of General Psychiatry. 2000 ; Vol. 57, No. 6. pp. 572-579.
@article{7496c2c6b40641e7b8c066067bb14f08,
title = "Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients",
abstract = "Background: Previous studies have suggested that bipolar patients are supersensitive to light suppression of melatonin and that this may be a trait marker for genetic vulnerability. The present study was an attempt to replicate and extend this observation Propranolol hydrochloride effects were compared with light effects because of the documented influence of β- adrenergic receptors on melatonin production. Nighttime levels of corticotropin and cortisol were also examined as potential trait vulnerability markers. Methods: Melatonin levels in euthymic bipolar patients (n=29) were tested before and after 500-lux light was administered between 2 and 4 AM and on a separate night in the dark. Results were compared with those of a group of patients with unipolar depression (n=24) and with those of a group of non-psychiatrically ill control subjects (n=50). Lithium effects and propranolol effects were tested in subgroups. Results: No group differences were seen in light suppression among bipolar patients, unipolar patients, and controls, an analysis of the whole group did not reveal differences in propranolol effect, differences in corticotropin or cortisol levels, or evidence for a lithium effect. However, patients with bipolar 1 affective disorder showed the following: (1) significantly lower melatonin levels on the light night, at baseline and following light exposure, and (2) a later peak time for melatonin on the dark night. Conclusions: The general hypothesis of increased light sensitivity in bipolar patients was not supported. However, melatonin secretion abnormalities were confirmed in the subgroup with bipolar I disorder. Further assessments of circadian rhythm disruption as a vulnerability marker in bipolar illness are indicated.",
author = "Nurnberger, {John I.} and Sherril Adkins and Lahiri, {Debomoy K.} and Aimee Mayeda and Kuolung Hu and Alfred Lewy and Aaron Miller and Bowman, {Elizabeth S.} and Miller, {Marvin J.} and Rau, {Leela N.} and Carrie Smiley and Dawn Davis-Singh",
year = "2000",
month = "6",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "57",
pages = "572--579",
journal = "JAMA Psychiatry",
issn = "2168-622X",
publisher = "American Medical Association",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Melatonin suppression by light in euthymic bipolar and unipolar patients

AU - Nurnberger, John I.

AU - Adkins, Sherril

AU - Lahiri, Debomoy K.

AU - Mayeda, Aimee

AU - Hu, Kuolung

AU - Lewy, Alfred

AU - Miller, Aaron

AU - Bowman, Elizabeth S.

AU - Miller, Marvin J.

AU - Rau, Leela N.

AU - Smiley, Carrie

AU - Davis-Singh, Dawn

PY - 2000/6

Y1 - 2000/6

N2 - Background: Previous studies have suggested that bipolar patients are supersensitive to light suppression of melatonin and that this may be a trait marker for genetic vulnerability. The present study was an attempt to replicate and extend this observation Propranolol hydrochloride effects were compared with light effects because of the documented influence of β- adrenergic receptors on melatonin production. Nighttime levels of corticotropin and cortisol were also examined as potential trait vulnerability markers. Methods: Melatonin levels in euthymic bipolar patients (n=29) were tested before and after 500-lux light was administered between 2 and 4 AM and on a separate night in the dark. Results were compared with those of a group of patients with unipolar depression (n=24) and with those of a group of non-psychiatrically ill control subjects (n=50). Lithium effects and propranolol effects were tested in subgroups. Results: No group differences were seen in light suppression among bipolar patients, unipolar patients, and controls, an analysis of the whole group did not reveal differences in propranolol effect, differences in corticotropin or cortisol levels, or evidence for a lithium effect. However, patients with bipolar 1 affective disorder showed the following: (1) significantly lower melatonin levels on the light night, at baseline and following light exposure, and (2) a later peak time for melatonin on the dark night. Conclusions: The general hypothesis of increased light sensitivity in bipolar patients was not supported. However, melatonin secretion abnormalities were confirmed in the subgroup with bipolar I disorder. Further assessments of circadian rhythm disruption as a vulnerability marker in bipolar illness are indicated.

AB - Background: Previous studies have suggested that bipolar patients are supersensitive to light suppression of melatonin and that this may be a trait marker for genetic vulnerability. The present study was an attempt to replicate and extend this observation Propranolol hydrochloride effects were compared with light effects because of the documented influence of β- adrenergic receptors on melatonin production. Nighttime levels of corticotropin and cortisol were also examined as potential trait vulnerability markers. Methods: Melatonin levels in euthymic bipolar patients (n=29) were tested before and after 500-lux light was administered between 2 and 4 AM and on a separate night in the dark. Results were compared with those of a group of patients with unipolar depression (n=24) and with those of a group of non-psychiatrically ill control subjects (n=50). Lithium effects and propranolol effects were tested in subgroups. Results: No group differences were seen in light suppression among bipolar patients, unipolar patients, and controls, an analysis of the whole group did not reveal differences in propranolol effect, differences in corticotropin or cortisol levels, or evidence for a lithium effect. However, patients with bipolar 1 affective disorder showed the following: (1) significantly lower melatonin levels on the light night, at baseline and following light exposure, and (2) a later peak time for melatonin on the dark night. Conclusions: The general hypothesis of increased light sensitivity in bipolar patients was not supported. However, melatonin secretion abnormalities were confirmed in the subgroup with bipolar I disorder. Further assessments of circadian rhythm disruption as a vulnerability marker in bipolar illness are indicated.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034085391&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034085391&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 10839335

AN - SCOPUS:0034085391

VL - 57

SP - 572

EP - 579

JO - JAMA Psychiatry

JF - JAMA Psychiatry

SN - 2168-622X

IS - 6

ER -