Bright light exposure during the daytime affects circadian rhythms of urinary melatonin and salivary immunoglobulin A

Chronobiol Int. 1999 May;16(3):359-71. doi: 10.3109/07420529909116864.


The effects of bright light exposure during the daytime on circadian urinary melatonin and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) rhythms were investigated in an environmental chamber controlled at a global temperature of 27 degrees C+/-0.2 degrees C and a relative humidity of 60%+/-5%. Seven diurnally active healthy females were studied twice, in bright and dim light conditions. Bright light of 5000 lux was provided by placing fluorescent lamps about 1 meter in front of the subjects during the daytime exposure (06:30-19:30) from 06:30 on day 1 to 10:30 on day 3. Dim light was controlled at 200 lux, and the subjects were allowed to sleep from 22:30 to 06:30 under both light exposure conditions. Urine and saliva were collected at 4h intervals for assessing melatonin and IgA. Melatonin excretion in the urine was significantly greater during the nighttime (i.e., at 06:30 on day 1 and at 02:30 on day 2) after the bright light condition than during the dim light condition. Furthermore, the concentration and the amount of salivary IgA tended to be higher in the bright light than in the dim light condition, especially during the night-time. Also, salivary IgA concentration and the total amount secreted in the saliva were significantly positively correlated with urinary melatonin. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that bright light exposure during the daytime enhances the nocturnal melatonin increase and activates the mucosal immune response.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Temperature
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis*
  • Lighting*
  • Melatonin / urine*
  • Photoperiod
  • Regression Analysis
  • Saliva / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Melatonin