Melatonin receptors in the eye: location, second messengers and role in ocular physiology

Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Mar;113(3):507-22. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2006.11.003. Epub 2006 Dec 15.


The pineal hormone melatonin, an important regulator of circadian and seasonal rhythms, has a role in ocular pathophysiology. In addition to the pineal gland, melatonin synthesis is carried out in several ocular structures. Moreover, specific melatonin receptors have been located in the retina, cornea, ciliary body, lens, choroid and sclera, which suggests that cells in these tissues may be targets for melatonin action. This review summarizes the current knowledge about melatonin receptor subtypes with the emphasis on those melatonin receptors, which have been identified in ocular tissues and their possible roles in biochemical and physiological processes in the eye.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Melatonin / physiology
  • Models, Animal
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Receptor, Melatonin, MT1 / physiology*
  • Receptor, Melatonin, MT2 / physiology*
  • Seasons
  • Second Messenger Systems / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Ligands
  • Receptor, Melatonin, MT1
  • Receptor, Melatonin, MT2
  • Melatonin