The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of melatonin administration on arterial distensibility by using carotid-femoral (aortic) pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurements in healthy young men. Ten men were studied (five men in the melatonin group and five men in the placebo group) by physicians. Carotid-femoral (aortic) PWV, blood pressure and plasma melatonin were measured in the supine position before and 60 min after oral administration of melatonin or placebo. Although carotid-femoral (aortic) PWV, systolic blood pressure and mean blood pressure were decreased, pulse wave propagation time and plasma melatonin levels were increased at 60 min after oral melatonin (1 mg) administration (P=0.04, P=0.04, P=0.04, P=0.04 and P=0.04, respectively). No significant differences were found between all parameters in the placebo group (P>0.05). In conclusion, these findings indicate that melatonin administration, compared with placebo, decreased carotid-femoral PWV and systolic blood pressure in the supine position in healthy young men. Administration of melatonin may have an inhibitory effect on sympathetic tone. © 2006 Pulsus Group Inc. All rights reserved.