Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 499–505 | Cite as

Melatonin: data consistent with a role in controlling ovarian function

  • Robert Penny
  • F. Stanczyk
  • U. Goebelsmann


FSH and LH excretion were correlated with melatonin excretion in consecutive daily urines obtained from a normal adult female (27 days), a normal 11-year-old girl (28 days), and an 8-year-old girl with idiopathic sexual precocity (30 days). Additionally pregnanediol-3-glucuronide (PG) excretion was determined in the urines of the adult female. Gonadotropin and PG excretion patterns of the adult female were those associated with a normal menstrual cycle. Excretion of melatonin, mean ± SD, (11.3 ± 2.7 vs 4.7 ± 1.4 ng/h, p< 0.005) was greater and PG (38.3 ± 81 vs 124.2 ± 46.7 ug/h, p < 0.005) was less during the first 13 days as compared to the subsequent 14 days. Gonadotropin and melatonin excretions correlated positively (first 13 days FSH, r = 0.828; rs = 0.815 and LH, r = 0.816; rs = 0.905, p < 0.005 and subsequent 14 days FSH, r = 0.607; rs = 0.685, p <0.025 and LH, r = 0.490, p < 0.05; rs = 0.638, p < 0.025). Excretion of PG and melatonin did not correlate during the first 13 days. However, during the subsequent 14 days they correlated negatively (r = −0.679, p < 0.005; rs = -0.620, p < 0.025). During the 28-day period the gonadotropin and melatonin excretion patterns of the 11 -year-old girl showed random fluctuations and correlated positively (FSH, r = 0.669; rs = 0.631 and LH, r = 0.690; rs = 0.695, p < 0.005). Her melatonin excretion mean ± SD, during the first 13 days (1.38 ± 0.37 ng/h) and subsequent 15 days (1.29 ± 0.53 ng/h) did not differ (p > 0.1). The girl with sexual precocity had gonadotropin and melatonin excretion patterns comparable to those of the adult female. Melatonin excretion, mean ± SD, was greater during the first 13 days (4.0 ± 1.2 vs 1.4 ± 0.4 ng/h, p < 0.005) as compared to the subsequent 17 days. Data of this investigation suggest a stimulating influence of the gonadotropins on pineal melatonin synthesis and are consistent with progesterone reducing pineal responsiveness to gonadotropin stimulation.


Melatonin gonadotropin pregnanediol-3-glucuronide sexual precocity menstrual cycle 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Penny
    • 1
    • 3
  • F. Stanczyk
    • 2
  • U. Goebelsmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Southhern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Southhern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Division of EndocrinologyLAC-USC Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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