Ing IVF treatment. We present a summary of the most recent
Ing IVF treatment. We present a summary of the most recent work investigating melatonin and its affect on oxidative stress, with a focus on the reproductive system and the treatment of infertility.MelatoninMelatonin: synthesis and degradation* Correspondence: [email protected] 1 MIMR-PHI Institute of Medical Research, 246 Clayton Rd, Clayton 3168, Victoria, Australia 2 Monash University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Level 5 Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Rd, Clayton 3168, Victoria, Australia Full list of author information is available at the end of the articleMelatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) was first isolated in 1958 as a neuro-hormone mainly synthesised and secreted from the pineal gland [2]. Since its discovery, further investigation has revealed that it is also produced by several other organs. It has been found in the gastrointestinal tract [3], brain [4], eye [5], lungs [6], skin [7], kidney [8], liver [9], thyroid, thymus, pancreas [10], immune system [11] and reproductive system [12]. Melatonin is an indoleamine, which is synthesised from the essential amino acid, tryptophan [13]. Its production is dependent on ambient illumination, with release being suppressed by light. Hence, Biotin-VAD-FMK web endogenous levels in plasma begin to increase between 1800 and 2000 hrs and peak between midnight and 0500 hrs with levels before 0900 hrs being five times higher than those after 1100 hrs [14]. This diurnal variation can make comparative studies challenging. In an investigation of the pharmacokinetics of exogenous orally administered melatonin, Waldhauser and associates found that the increase in serum levels after oral administration of melatonin is rapid (60?50 minutes), as is its excretion [15]. It does not accumulate in the blood, with repeat dosing simply resulting in PubMed ID: peak levels being maintained for longer [15]. Melatonin is hepatically metabolised and renally excreted PubMed ID: [16]. Hence, melatonin has a short half-life and both melatonin and its metabolites can be measured in serum, urine and saliva [17,18].?2014 Fernando and Rombauts; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.Fernando and Rombauts Journal of Ovarian Research 2014, 7:98 2 ofActions and safety of melatonin Classical actionsMelatonin has been identified as a key factor in the regulation of circadian rhythms and the sleep-wake cycle [18]. Long exposure to artificial lighting leads to a reduction in endogenous melatonin exposure [19]. Melatonin is thus associated with sleep disturbances including insomnia, and much of the literature is focused in this area [20-22]. It also appears to regulate reproductive seasonal variation in many animal species [18,23-25]. However, despite a daily circadian rhythm being demonstrated in uterine artery blood flow [26], seasonal breeding does not apply to primates [27], raising questions as to what other roles it may serve in humans.Actions as an oxygen scavengerfactors and angiogenesis, suggesting a possible role for melatonin in prevention of canc.