REVIEW. Melatonin and the thyroid gland.

: This review briefly summarizes the published data on relationships observed between melatonin - the main pineal hormone, and the thyroid gland. The prevailing part of the survey is devoted to thyroid growth processes and function. A large experimental evidence exists suggesting the inhibitory action of melatonin on thyroid growth and function; this effect has been revealed by using different experimental models: by chronic and short-term melatonin administration in vivo, by light restriction, which is known to increase the activity of the pineal gland, by pinealectomy, etc., as well as by employing the in vitro conditions. Thus, much information has been accumulated, indicating - in experimental conditions - a mutual relationship between the pineal gland and the thyroid. The confirmation of these relations in clinical studies in humans meets numerous difficulties, resulting - among others - from the fact that, nowadays, human beings, as well as certain animal species, used in experimental studies, have been living far away from their natural and original habitat. It makes almost impossible to compare the results obtained in particular studies performed in different species, on the pineal-thyroid interrelationship.

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