Melatonin, Serum


In most vertebrates, including humans, melatonin is synthesised primarily in the pineal gland from its precursor serotonin and is regulated by the environmental light /dark cycle via the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Melatonin is principally secreted at night and is centrally involved in sleep regulation, as well as in a number of other cyclical bodily activities. Melatonin is exclusively involved in signalling the ‘time of day’ and ‘time of year’. In addition, melatonin is an effective antioxidant, which scavenges free radicals and up-regulates several antioxidant enzymes. It also has a strong antiapoptotic signalling function. Melatonin also has immune enhancing and oncostatic properties.


Due to its antioxidant action, melatonin has assumed a potentially significant therapeutic role in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Melatonin secretion is disturbed in patients suffering from various types of cancer. The increased incidence of breast cancer or colorectal cancer seen in individuals engaged in night shift work suggests a possible link with the diminished secretion of melatonin associated with increased exposure to light at night. Altered melatonin levels are found in depressed patients. Low melatonin levels occur in patients with major depressive disorder, although increases in melatonin have also been documented.

Sample Type, Quantity & Conditions

1 ml Serum Frozen

Special Precautions

Normal Range

pg/ml < 9 Yrs: Not Estrablished 10-20 Yrs: 31.3- 175.4 21-65 Yrs: 11- 135.4 >65 Yrs: 11-34.3

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