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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 77-B, Issue 1 | Pages 134 - 138
1 Jan 1995
Machida M Dubousset J Imamura Y Iwaya T Yamada T Kimura J

We studied the possible role of melatonin deficiency in experimentally-induced scoliosis. A total of 90 chickens underwent pinealectomy on the third day after hatching: 30 were treated with serotonin, 30 with melatonin and 30 received no therapy (control group). Scoliosis developed in all the control group, in 22 of the serotonin group, and in only 6 of the melatonin group. The six melatonin-treated chickens with scoliosis had less severe spinal deformities than those in the serotonin-treated group. There were lower blood melatonin concentrations in chickens with scoliosis than in those without. Our findings suggest that melatonin deficiency contributes to the aetiology of this experimental scoliosis, probably by interfering with the normally symmetrical growth of the proprioceptive system involving the paraspinal muscles and the spine.