Negative impact of melatonin ingestion on the photopic electroretinogram of dogs

Neurosci Lett. 2013 May 24;543:78-83. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.02.070. Epub 2013 Apr 2.


Melatonin follows a circadian rhythm entrained by the light/dark cycle and plays a role in promoting light sensitivity at night. It has been suggested that melatonin and dopamine reciprocal inhibition may contribute to the switch between day and night vision. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a high dose of melatonin administration on the photopic and scotopic electroretinogram (ERG) of dogs in the daytime, when it is not thought to be present. Photopic and scotopic ERG luminance response functions were obtained from 7 anaesthetized beagle dogs (3 males and 4 females), once without melatonin (control) and once after oral administration of melatonin (90 mg/dog). Vmax (maximal b-wave amplitude achieved) and logK (retinal sensitivity) were calculated from the derived luminance response function. Photopic flicker ERG was also recorded. In photopic condition, a-wave amplitude (control: -126.90 μV; with melatonin: -49.64 μV; p<0.001) and Vmax (control: 252.50 μV; with melatonin: 115.40 μV; p<0.001) were decreased. A significant reduction of the photopic flicker ERG amplitude was observed after melatonin ingestion. In scotopic condition, an overall difference was reported before and after melatonin ingestion for the a- and b-wave amplitude, but no change was significant for Vmax. Melatonin ingestion at a high dose during the day decreases the photopic amplitude of a- and b-wave, but has no impact on implicit time. This negative impact of melatonin on photopic system may serve to promote night vision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Darkness
  • Dogs
  • Electroretinography
  • Female
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Melatonin / administration & dosage
  • Melatonin / pharmacology*
  • Night Vision / drug effects
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / drug effects*
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / physiology


  • Melatonin