Melatonin in Humans

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Nov;57 Suppl 5:19-39.

Abstract

Melatonin, the hormone of the pineal gland, received a great deal of attention in the last decade because of its availability as over-the-counter drug or food supplement in some countries and suggested role in many vital physiological processes. Melatonin secretion is not restricted to mammals but is also produced in nonmammalian vertebrates, in some invertebrates, and in many plants, with the same molecular structure. The synthesis of melatonin is strictly controlled by lighting conditions and shows a clear circadian rhythm with low values during the daytime and significant increase at night. In this survey the basic data on melatonin significance in human physiology and in pathological processes as well as its possible therapeutic significance are reviewed and discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Melatonin / metabolism
  • Melatonin / pharmacology
  • Melatonin / physiology*

Substances

  • Melatonin