Antidepressant effect of 5-methoxypsoralen: The melatonin synchronizer hypothesis.
Clinique de Psychiatrie et de Psychologie Médicale, Faculté de Médecine, Hôpital Pasteur, 130, avenue de la Voie Romaine, BP 69, 06002 Nice Cedex 01, France.
5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP) stimulates pineal melatonin secretion, and a decrease in dark phase melatonin levels has been described in major depression.
As exogenous melatonin has shown synchronizer properties, authors hypothesized that giving 5-MOP would have antidepressant properties. Twenty-six inpatients meeting the criteria of major depressive disorders were enrolled in a four-week, double blind trial of 5-MOP versus amitriptyline.
Clinical improvement was identical in both treatment groups but biological changes were different in each group: 5-MOP patients showed an early nocturnal surge of melatonin levels that was maintained at the fourth treatment week, while melatonin levels remained unchanged in patients treated with amitriptyline.
- [PubMed - in process]