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Chronobiol Int. 1998 Jan;15(1):71-83.

The human phase response curve (PRC) to melatonin is about 12 hours out of phase with the PRC to light.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201-3098, USA.

Abstract

Melatonin's timekeeping function is undoubtedly related to the fact that it is primarily produced during nighttime darkness; that is, melatonin and light occur at opposite times. The human phase response curve (PRC) to melatonin appears to be about 12h out of phase with the PRC to light. These striking complementarities, together with light's acute suppressant effect on melatonin production, suggest that a function for endogenous melatonin is to augment entrainment of the circadian pacemaker by the light-dark cycle. The melatonin PRC also indicates correct administration times for using exogenous melatonin to treat circadian phase disorders.

PMID:
9493716
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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