|1: Cas Lek Cesk. 1996 Apr 17;135(8):231-5.
Melatonin--the hormone of darkness
[Article in Czech]
Kancheva RL, Zofkova I.
Endokrinologicky ustav, Praha.
Melatonin is a hormone produced mainly by the pineal gland during the dark
phase of the circadian cycle with typical circadian rhythm with maximal
secretion at night and depression during the day. The indoleamine has wide
regulatory and integrative functions. Perhaps there is no organ and system
which can escape the influence of epiphysis, incl. reproductive,
cardiovascular gastrointestinal, respiratory as well as renal system and water
and mineral metabolism. Melatonin regulates not only neuroendocrine functions
but also has immunoenhancing and antitumor effects. That is why there are
trials/attempts these properties to be utilized in the treatment of
malignancies and AIDS patients. The hormone plays a certain role in
temperature regulation in mammals as well as in the onset of puberty and
senescence. Attention has been paid to its role as a scavenger of toxic free
radicals and it is believed that melatonin is the most effective lipophilic
antioxidant. However, the exact mechanism of action of this high active
hormone remains to be elucidated. Further studies are also necessary for
discovering the next its properties and functions.
PMID: 8689660 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]