Melatonin: a coordinating signal for mammalian reproduction?

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Science  15 Feb 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4688, pp. 714-720
DOI: 10.1126/science.3881822


There is a daily rhythm in the production of the pineal hormone melatonin in all mammalian species. Production is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. This provides a signal reflecting the changing environmental lighting cycle. In seasonally breeding mammals that use changes in the photoperiod to time their reproductive cycles, temporal signals to the reproductive system are controlled by the daily rhythm in melatonin production.