A novel and sensitive radioreceptor assay for serum melatonin levels
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A simple and sensitive radioreceptor assay (RRA) has been developed to measure melatonin levels in serum. The assay is based on competition between 2-[125I]iodomelatonin ([125I]MEL) and melatonin for binding to high-affinity binding sites in chick forebrain. To measure the amount of melatonin present in a serum sample, it was extracted with dichloromethane and added to the assay medium. The percentage inhibition of radioligand binding in the presence of the extracted serum was determined and compared to the percent displacement by known amounts of melatonin in a standard curve. There was little or no cross-reactivity with other structurally related compounds. The sensitivity of the assay is approximately 1.5pg/0.15 mL and the intra- and inter-assay variations are approximately 8%. Since the RRA results are comparable to that of an established radioimmunoassay (RIA), it provides a sensitive and rapid alternative to the more time consuming RIA.
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