Seasonal Reproduction in Vertebrates: Melatonin Synthesis, Binding, and Functionality Using Tinbergen’s Four Questions


One of the many functions of melatonin in vertebrates is seasonal reproductive timing. Longer nights in winter correspond to an extended duration of melatonin secretion. The purpose of this review is to discuss melatonin synthesis, receptor subtypes, and function in the context of seasonality across vertebrates. We conclude with Tinbergen’s Four Questions to create a comparative framework for future melatonin research in the context of seasonal reproduction.