Photoperiodic Signalling Through the Melatonin Receptor Turns Full Circle

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Abstract

Photoperiod exerts profound influence on the physiology of mammals through the action of melatonin on the neuroendocrine system. Over the last 20 years, studies have moved away from a melatonin receptor-focused approach to understanding how photoperiod regulates neuroendocrine activity through studies of downstream effects on gene expression. This paper reviews the recent progress made in our understanding of the effects of photoperiod on gene expression in the hypothalamus, and considers how this new information can be reconciled with the species-specific location of melatonin receptors.

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