The melatonin message

Duration versus coincidence hypotheses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

172 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whereas there is little doubt that melatonin is an important hormone which mediates the effects of the pineal gland, there is debate concerning the nature of the melatonin message which the animal interprets. This brief resume considers the two main features of the melatonin rhythm which the organism could "read" to determine whether it is in a long or a short day. The first scheme is what is referred to as the duration hypothesis. This hypothesis depends on the fact that the changing photoperiod likewise alters the duration of the daily melatonin peak and this signals the organism as to daylength and the appropriate endocrine adjustments are made. The second possibility depends on the synchronization of elevated melatonin levels with the sensitivity of particular organ system to the melatonin peak; when this occurs the organ responds accordingly. Both the external and internal coincidence models are considered. The duration and coincidence models are fundamentally quite different. In the case of the former, the altered duration of the melatonin peak per se determines the response that will occur. In the case of the coincidence models, the elevated melatonin has a more passive role with the "decision" to respond being a function of end organ sensitivity. In the final analysis, it may be that organisms use a combination of absolute duration of the melatonin pulse, direction of change of the melatonin rhythm, and synchrony of peak melatonin with the increased sensitivity of the end organ before a response is forthcoming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2119-2131
Number of pages13
JournalLife Sciences
Volume40
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1987

Fingerprint

Melatonin
Pineal Gland
Photoperiod
Synchronization
Animals
Hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

The melatonin message : Duration versus coincidence hypotheses. / Reiter, Russel J.

In: Life Sciences, Vol. 40, No. 22, 01.06.1987, p. 2119-2131.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f08e6060fc4b4113b56d8c7615aa3f23,
title = "The melatonin message: Duration versus coincidence hypotheses",
abstract = "Whereas there is little doubt that melatonin is an important hormone which mediates the effects of the pineal gland, there is debate concerning the nature of the melatonin message which the animal interprets. This brief resume considers the two main features of the melatonin rhythm which the organism could {"}read{"} to determine whether it is in a long or a short day. The first scheme is what is referred to as the duration hypothesis. This hypothesis depends on the fact that the changing photoperiod likewise alters the duration of the daily melatonin peak and this signals the organism as to daylength and the appropriate endocrine adjustments are made. The second possibility depends on the synchronization of elevated melatonin levels with the sensitivity of particular organ system to the melatonin peak; when this occurs the organ responds accordingly. Both the external and internal coincidence models are considered. The duration and coincidence models are fundamentally quite different. In the case of the former, the altered duration of the melatonin peak per se determines the response that will occur. In the case of the coincidence models, the elevated melatonin has a more passive role with the {"}decision{"} to respond being a function of end organ sensitivity. In the final analysis, it may be that organisms use a combination of absolute duration of the melatonin pulse, direction of change of the melatonin rhythm, and synchrony of peak melatonin with the increased sensitivity of the end organ before a response is forthcoming.",
author = "Reiter, {Russel J}",
year = "1987",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/0024-3205(87)90001-4",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "40",
pages = "2119--2131",
journal = "Life Sciences",
issn = "0024-3205",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "22",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The melatonin message

T2 - Duration versus coincidence hypotheses

AU - Reiter, Russel J

PY - 1987/6/1

Y1 - 1987/6/1

N2 - Whereas there is little doubt that melatonin is an important hormone which mediates the effects of the pineal gland, there is debate concerning the nature of the melatonin message which the animal interprets. This brief resume considers the two main features of the melatonin rhythm which the organism could "read" to determine whether it is in a long or a short day. The first scheme is what is referred to as the duration hypothesis. This hypothesis depends on the fact that the changing photoperiod likewise alters the duration of the daily melatonin peak and this signals the organism as to daylength and the appropriate endocrine adjustments are made. The second possibility depends on the synchronization of elevated melatonin levels with the sensitivity of particular organ system to the melatonin peak; when this occurs the organ responds accordingly. Both the external and internal coincidence models are considered. The duration and coincidence models are fundamentally quite different. In the case of the former, the altered duration of the melatonin peak per se determines the response that will occur. In the case of the coincidence models, the elevated melatonin has a more passive role with the "decision" to respond being a function of end organ sensitivity. In the final analysis, it may be that organisms use a combination of absolute duration of the melatonin pulse, direction of change of the melatonin rhythm, and synchrony of peak melatonin with the increased sensitivity of the end organ before a response is forthcoming.

AB - Whereas there is little doubt that melatonin is an important hormone which mediates the effects of the pineal gland, there is debate concerning the nature of the melatonin message which the animal interprets. This brief resume considers the two main features of the melatonin rhythm which the organism could "read" to determine whether it is in a long or a short day. The first scheme is what is referred to as the duration hypothesis. This hypothesis depends on the fact that the changing photoperiod likewise alters the duration of the daily melatonin peak and this signals the organism as to daylength and the appropriate endocrine adjustments are made. The second possibility depends on the synchronization of elevated melatonin levels with the sensitivity of particular organ system to the melatonin peak; when this occurs the organ responds accordingly. Both the external and internal coincidence models are considered. The duration and coincidence models are fundamentally quite different. In the case of the former, the altered duration of the melatonin peak per se determines the response that will occur. In the case of the coincidence models, the elevated melatonin has a more passive role with the "decision" to respond being a function of end organ sensitivity. In the final analysis, it may be that organisms use a combination of absolute duration of the melatonin pulse, direction of change of the melatonin rhythm, and synchrony of peak melatonin with the increased sensitivity of the end organ before a response is forthcoming.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0023180659&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0023180659&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0024-3205(87)90001-4

DO - 10.1016/0024-3205(87)90001-4

M3 - Article

VL - 40

SP - 2119

EP - 2131

JO - Life Sciences

JF - Life Sciences

SN - 0024-3205

IS - 22

ER -