594: Effect of Melatonin on Adrenal Steroids in Dogs with Aberrant Adrenocortical Disease

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $21,613.54
Kellie A. Fecteau, PhD; University of Tennessee
July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2007

Sponsor(s): Norwegian Elkhound Association of America, Inc.

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Endocrinology
Donate to Support this Research Program Area


Aberrant adrenocortical disease (ACD) is a frequently found variant of Cushing�s syndrome in dogs. ACD is a disease in which cortisol usually remains at normal concentrations (which is misleading), but excessive adrenal intermediate steroids are secreted causing clinical signs of canine Cushing�s syndrome. The Clinical Endocrinology Service at the University of Tennessee is an internationally recognized center of excellence in ACD diagnostics currently testing over 1500 suspected ACD cases per year. Effective treatment options for ACD are limited. Melatonin currently is used to treat ACE in an effort to decrease secretion of intermediate adrenal steroid; however, its mechanism of action is unknown. Some dogs have a favorable clinical response to melatonin and other dogs do not respond to melatonin. In this proposed research, melatonin will be utilized in a cell culture system. Adrenal cells and canine adrenal tissue explants will be treated with melatonin and cell culture media will be analyzed for concentrations of progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol (hormones analyzed in ACE patients). Adrenocorticotropic hormone-sensitive cell signaling pathways will be studied for melatonin targeting effects. Results will aid in elucidating melatonin�s possible mechanism of action on adrenal steroidogenesis.


Fecteau, K. A., Eiler, H., & Oliver, J. W. (2011). Effect of combined lignan phytoestrogen and melatonin treatment on secretion of steroid hormones by adrenal carcinoma cells. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 72(5), 675–680. https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.72.5.675

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

Get Canine Health News:
Please leave this field empty
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc

8051 Arco Corporate Dr.
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27617

Tax ID# 13-3813813


© 2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation | Privacy Policy | Site Map

Site by Blackbaud, Inc.