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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 1988 Feb;69(2):163-73.

Pineal and circulating melatonin rhythms in the box turtle, Terrapene carolina triunguis: effect of photoperiod, light pulse, and environmental temperature.

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Laboratoire de Zoologie et d'Embryologie expérimentale, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.


Pineal and circulating melatonin concentrations have been measured throughout the 24-hr cycle in the box turtle, Terrapene carolina triunguis, under different conditions of photoperiod and temperature. An obvious effect of photoperiod on the duration of the night rise of pineal and circulating melatonin is observed; the period of elevated melatonin is 4.30 hr in long photoperiod (18L:6D) and 11.00 hr in short photoperiod (8L:16D). A single pulse of 1 hr illumination beginning 1.30 hr after the onset of darkness, in a 16L:8D cycle, has no effect on pineal or circulating melatonin levels. A clear effect of environmental temperature on the amplitude of the day-night rhythm of melatonin production is observed. A possible role of the pineal of poikilotherms in the transduction of several environmental factors, via the daily pattern of melatonin secretion, is hypothesized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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