The Influence of Melatonin on the Human Circadian Clock

  • Alfred J. Lewy
  • Robert L. Sack
  • Saeeduddin Ahmed
  • Vance K. Bauer
  • Mary L. Blood
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 277)

Abstract

Now that it has been established that experimental administration of melatonin has circadian phase-shifting effects in humans, we can speculate about its endogenous function. More specifically, melatonin in physiologic amounts can produce effects that are described by a phase response curve (PRC) (Lewy et al., 1990a; Lewy et al., 1992; Lewy et al., 1991; Lewy et al., 1990b; Lewy et al., 1991; Zaidan et al., 1994) that is about 12 hours out of phase with the PRCs to light (Czeisler et al., 1989; Honma and Honma, 1988; Minors et al., 1991; Wever, 1989). Therefore, it appears that the most likely role of endogenous melatonin production in humans is to augment phase-shifting and entrainment of the endogenous circadian pacemaker (ECP) by the light-dark cycle. This is accomplished through the suppressant effect of light on melatonin production (Lewy et al., 1980).

Keywords

Placebo Depression Cortisol Schizophrenia Lime 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred J. Lewy
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Robert L. Sack
    • 1
  • Saeeduddin Ahmed
    • 1
  • Vance K. Bauer
    • 1
  • Mary L. Blood
    • 1
  1. 1.Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory, Department of PsychiatryOregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory, Department of OphthalmologyOregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory, Department of PharmacologyOregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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