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What Do We (Need to) Know About the Melatonin in Crustaceans?


  • Conflict of interest: None.
  • S.B. Sainath and C.H. Swetha contributed equally to this study.

Correspondence to: P. Sreenivasula Reddy, Department of Zoology, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati 517502, Andhra Pradesh, India.



Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxy-tryptamine) was first discovered from the bovine pineal gland extract in 1958. Since then, its synthesis, metabolism, physiological, and patho-physiological functions are well studied in vertebrates; there is an increasing recognition of melatonin in invertebrates and especially in crustaceans. The presence of melatonin in crustaceans is now well documented and some functional aspects in the framework of crustacean biology have been demonstrated. This review aims at giving a comprehensive overview of the various physiological events regulated by this pleiotropic hormone. Topics include: glucose homeostasis, regulation of reproduction, molting, limb regeneration, and antioxidant properties. Finally, perspectives on current and possible research are offered. J. Exp. Zool. 319A: 365–377, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.