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

Alfred J. Lewy, Vance K. Bauer, Saeeduddin Ahmed, Katherine H. Thomas, Neil L. Cutler, Clifford M. Singer, Mary T. Moffit, Robert L. Sack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

279 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalChronobiology International
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

Keywords

  • Circadian phase disorders
  • Dim light melatonin onset
  • Light phase response curve
  • Melatonin administration
  • Melatonin phase response curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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    Lewy, A. J., Bauer, V. K., Ahmed, S., Thomas, K. H., Cutler, N. L., Singer, C. M., Moffit, M. T., & Sack, R. L. (1998). The human phase response curve (PRC) to melatonin is about 12 hours out of phase with the PRC to light. Chronobiology International, 15(1), 71-83. https://doi.org/10.3109/07420529808998671