Send to

Choose Destination
Chronobiol Int. 1989;6(4):329-39.

Entrainment of melatonin rhythms in rams by symmetrical light-dark cycles of different period length.

Author information

Laboratoire de Physiologie Comparee, Faculte des Sciences, Tours, France.


The objective of this study was to investigate the entrainment of melatonin rhythms in rams using symmetrical light-dark cycles of different period length. Five groups of six Ile de France rams were kept in 12L:12D for 7 weeks and then (i) 12L:12D, (ii) 11L:11D, (iii) 10L:10D, (iv) 13L:13D and (v) 14L:14D for a further 3 weeks. Environmental factors other than the light dark cycle were not controlled. The onset and offset of the plasma melatonin rhythm in DD after 3 weeks of the respective light treatments was assessed for 48 hr, immediately after transferring to DD. The duration of secretion in DD was positively related to the length of the previous dark phase. The phase of the melatonin rhythm with respect to the anticipated dark phase suggested entrainment with no change in phase-relationship to the zeitgeber by 12L:12D and 13L:13D. Entrainment with a phase-delay or a phase-advance was apparent after 11L:11D and 14L:14D, but the individual rhythms were not all synchronized with respect to each other after 10L:10D. Activity recordings for 2-3-week periods during 12L:12D, 10L:10D and 14L:14D all showed a major 24-hr component at all times, with activity during the light phase in 12L:12D. It appears that melatonin may be readily desynchronized from overt activity-rest cycles in sheep. The upper and lower entrainment limits are probably greater than 28 hr and close to 20 hr cycles, respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center