Melatonin: effects on the circadian locomotor rhythm of sparrows

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Science  24 Dec 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4272, pp. 1441-1443
DOI: 10.1126/science.1006311


The continuous administration of low levels of melatonin via intraperitoneally placed Silastic capsules either (i) shortened the free-running period of activity or (ii) induced continuous activity in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) maintained in constant darkness. After the melatonin-filled capsules were removed, the period of the circadian rhythm of activity lengthened in rhythmic birds and normal rhythmicity was restored in continuously active birds. The results suggest that melatonin is involved in the physiological control of circadian rhythmicity in sparrows.