[The influence of melatonin on human reproduction]

Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2007 Aug;23(134):128-30.
[Article in Polish]


This paper reviews the possible participation of melatonin in the process of human reproduction. The results of several studies have shown the clear correlation between melatonin and gonadotropins and/or sexual steroids, which suggest that melatonin may be involved in the sexual maturation, ovulation or menopause. Decreased secretion of melatonin which coexists with increased fertility in the summer is specific for women living on the north hemisphere. Moreover, abnormal levels of melatonin in the blood are associated with several disorders of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonads axis activity, i.e., precocious or delayed pubertas, hypogonadotrophic or hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism or amenorrhoea. Melatonin binding sites have been demonstrated in the central nervous system (mainly in the pars dystalis of the pituitary and hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus) as well as in the reproductive organs, e.g., human granulosa cells, prostate and spermatozoa. Melatonin can, therefore, influence the gonadal function indirectly--via its effect on gonadotropin-releasing hormone and/or gonadotropins secretion. It may also act directly; several data show that melatonin can be synthesized in gonads.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Gonads / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Male
  • Melatonin / pharmacology*
  • Melatonin / physiology*
  • Menopause / drug effects
  • Menopause / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland / drug effects
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Sexual Maturation / drug effects


  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Melatonin