IN lymphocytes, the pineal hormone, melatonin, suppresses 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) gene expression. Because circadian fluctuations in melatonin content are prominent in the pineal, we hypothesized that 5-LO mRNA level in this gland is greater when melatonin is low (day) than at night. Using the reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction we assayed the levels of mRNAs coding for 5-LO, serotonin N-acetyltransferase (NAT), and for a constitutive gene, cyclophilin, in rat pineals obtained at 10:30–11:00 h (day) or 24:30–01:00 (night). Cyclophilin mRNA was not affected by circa- dian rhythm, whereas 5-LO and NAT were affected in an opposite manner: 5-LO mRNA was high during the day, NAT mRNA at night. We propose that circadian pineal 5-LO expression might play a role in circadian regulation of pineal functioning.