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melatonin

Pronunciation: mel'a-ton'in

Definition: a substance formed by the mammalian pineal gland, which appears to depress gonadal function in mammals and causes contraction of amphibian melanophores; a precursor is serotonin. Melatonin is rapidly metabolized and is taken up by all tissues. It is involved in circadian rhythms.

[melanophore + G. tonos, contraction, + -in]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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