Document Detail

Pineal melatonin rhythms and the timing of puberty in mammals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2680575     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The direction of change in daylength provides the seasonal time cue for the timing of puberty in many mammalian species. The pattern of melatonin secretion from the pineal gland transduces the environmental light-dark cycle into a signal influencing the neuroendocrine control of sexual maturation. The change in duration of nocturnal melatonin secretion is probably the key feature of the melatonin signal which conveys daylength information. This information may also be used by neuroendocrine axes controlling seasonal changes in pelage colour, growth and metabolism. The mechanism of action of melatonin on neuroendocrine pathways is unknown. Although the ability to synthesize and secrete melatonin in a pattern that reflects the duration of the night may not occur until the postnatal period, the rodent and ovine foetus has the ability to respond in utero to photoperiodic cues to which its mother is exposed in late gestation. Transplacental passage of maternal melatonin is likely to be the mechanism by which photoperiodic cues reach the foetus. Species which do not exhibit seasonal patterns of puberty, such as the human, also secrete melatonin in a pattern which reflects the environmental light-dark cycle, but they do not respond reproductively to the seasonal melatonin information.
F J Ebling; D L Foster
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Experientia     Volume:  45     ISSN:  0014-4754     ISO Abbreviation:  Experientia     Publication Date:  1989 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-11-27     Completed Date:  1989-11-27     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376547     Medline TA:  Experientia     Country:  SWITZERLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  946-54     Citation Subset:  IM    
Reproductive Sciences Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0404.
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MeSH Terms
Melatonin / physiology*
Pineal Gland / growth & development,  physiology*
Puberty / physiology
Sexual Maturation / physiology*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:

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