Original Research

The effects of melatonin on a molecular level

M. Haag, J. J. Theron
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 11, No 1 | a515 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v11i1.515 | © 1992 M. Haag, J. J. Theron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 July 1992 | Published: 08 July 1992

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M. Haag,, South Africa
J. J. Theron,, South Africa

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Abstract

The indole hormone melatonin is secreted in a biphasic circadian rhythm by the pineal gland. This review presents a summary of recent results concerning — (i) factors that influence melatonin synthesis; (ii) the existence of melatonin receptors in brain tissue; (iii) the effects of melatonin as a modulator of dopaminergic, noradrenergic, GABAergic and opioidergic neurotransmitter processes; (iv) the influence of melatonin on the electric activity and metabolic rate of certain brain nuclei; and (v) melatonin effects on hormone secretion in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. A basic mechanism of melatonin action via cyclic nucleotides and thus protein phosphorylation is presented.

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