Quantitative calculation of human melatonin suppression induced by inappropriate light at night


Melatonin (C13H16N2O2) has a wide range of functions in the body. When is inappropriately exposed to light at night, human circadian rhythm will be interfered and then melatonin secretion will become abnormal. For nearly three decades great progresses have been achieved in analytic action spectra and melatonin suppression by various light conditions. However, so far few articles focused on the quantitative calculation of melatonin suppression induced by light. In this article, an algorithm is established, in which all the contributions of rods, cones, and intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells are considered. Calculation results accords with the experimental data in references very well, which indicate the validity of this algorithm. This algorithm can also interpret the rule of melatonin suppression varying with light correlated color temperature very well.

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We are grateful for the technical assistance from Associate Prof. X.X. Xu, the Key Laboratory of Weak Light Nonlinear Photonics, Ministry of Education, China; logistical and editorial assistance from Prof. C.P. Zhang and Vice President Prof. C.Y. Li, School of Physics, Nankai University, China.

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Correspondence to Tianhao Zhang.

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Meng, Y., He, Z., Yin, J. et al. Quantitative calculation of human melatonin suppression induced by inappropriate light at night. Med Biol Eng Comput 49, 1083–1088 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11517-011-0788-1

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  • Light
  • Melatonin suppression
  • Algorithm
  • IpRGC
  • Rods
  • Cones