The effects of melatonin on blood pressure and heart rate were studied in 23-week-old male spontaneously hypertensive rats. Melatonin infused i.p. at a dose of 6 mg/rat per day for 5 days using an osmotic minipump produced a significant reduction of blood pressure and a slight but significant decrease of heart rate in the conscious and unrestrained state. These cardiovascular effects of melatonin developed gradually. Plasma renin concentration tended to decrease after melatonin treatment. These results demonstrate that melatonin has an antihypertensive action. The mechanism of the antihypertensive action of melatonin requires further study.
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