Blask, David E. Laboratory of Experimental Neuroendocrinology/Oncology, Bassett Research Institute, Cooperstown, New York.
- Generation and regulation of the melatonin rhythm
- Physiological and pharmacological actions
- Disease states and clinical applications
- Additional Readings
A hormone secreted primarily by the pineal gland in the vertebrate brain that conveys information about time that influences reproduction and circadian physiology. Derived from the essential amino acid tryptophan, melatonin was discovered in 1958 and was originally named for its ability to disperse pigments in skin cells of the frog (it has since been shown to act on melanophores in the skins of amphibians and reptiles and to concentrate the melanin in the center of the cells, lightening the body surface). It is an indoleamine molecule that is found widely throughout nature (see structure).
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