This study investigated the effect of maternal pinealectomy and postnatal pinealectomy on affective responses. Siberian hamsters were born to either pinealectomized or sham-operated dams and then underwent pinealectomy or a sham operation. Maternal pinealectomy increased depressive-like responses of offspring in the forced swim test. Maternal pinealectomy increased rearing behaviour and postnatal pinealectomy increased locomotor behaviour in the open field test. These results suggest that prenatal melatonin organizes adult affective responses.