| Preferred IUPAC name |
|Other names |
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||248.282 g·mol−1|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
6-Hydroxymelatonin (6-OHM) is a naturally occurring, endogenous, major active metabolite of melatonin.  Similar to melatonin, 6-OHM is a full agonist of the MT1 and MT2 receptors.   It is also an antioxidant and neuroprotective, and is even more potent in this regard relative to melatonin.  
gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or γ-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the developmentally mature mammalian central nervous system. Its principal role is reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.
Melatonin is a hormone primarily released by the pineal gland at night, and has long been associated with control of the sleep–wake cycle. As a dietary supplement, it is often used for the short-term treatment of insomnia, such as from jet lag or shift work, and is typically taken orally. Evidence of its benefit for this use, however, is not strong. A 2017 review found that sleep onset occurred six minutes faster with use, but found no change in total time asleep.
Tryptamine is an indolamine metabolite of the essential amino acid, tryptophan. The chemical structure is defined by an indole ─ a fused benzene and pyrrole ring, and a 2-aminoethyl group at the third carbon. The structure of tryptamine is a shared feature of certain aminergic neuromodulators including melatonin, serotonin, bufotenin and psychedelic derivatives such as dimethyltryptamine (DMT), psilocybin, psilocin and others. Tryptamine has been shown to activate trace amine-associated receptors expressed in the mammalian brain, and regulates the activity of dopaminergic, serotonergic and glutamatergic systems. In the human gut, symbiotic bacteria convert dietary tryptophan to tryptamine, which activates 5-HT4 receptors and regulates gastrointestinal motility. Multiple tryptamine-derived drugs have been developed to treat migraines, while trace amine-associated receptors are being explored as a potential treatment target for neuropsychiatric disorders.
5-HT receptors, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors, or serotonin receptors, are a group of G protein-coupled receptor and ligand-gated ion channels found in the central and peripheral nervous systems. They mediate both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. The serotonin receptors are activated by the neurotransmitter serotonin, which acts as their natural ligand.
Agomelatine is an atypical antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder. One review found that it is as effective as other antidepressants with similar discontinuation rates overall but less discontinuations due to side effects. Another review also found it was similarly effective to many other antidepressants.
Melatonin receptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) which bind melatonin. Three types of melatonin receptors have been cloned. The MT1 (or Mel1A or MTNR1A) and MT2 (or Mel1B or MTNR1B) receptor subtypes are present in humans and other mammals, while an additional melatonin receptor subtype MT3 (or Mel1C or MTNR1C) has been identified in amphibia and birds. The receptors are crucial in the signal cascade of melatonin. In the field of chronobiology, melatonin has been found to be a key player in the synchrony of biological clocks. Melatonin secretion by the pineal gland has circadian rhythmicity regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) found in the brain. The SCN functions as the timing regulator for melatonin; melatonin then follows a feedback loop to decrease SCN neuronal firing. The receptors MT1 and MT2 control this process. Melatonin receptors are found throughout the body in places such as the brain, the retina of the eye, the cardiovascular system, the liver and gallbladder, the colon, the skin, the kidneys, and many others. In 2019, X-ray crystal and cryo-EM structures of MT1 and MT2 were reported.
5-Methoxytryptamine (5-MT), also known as mexamine, is a tryptamine derivative closely related to the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. 5-MT has been shown to occur naturally in the body in low levels. It is biosynthesized via the deacetylation of melatonin in the pineal gland.
N-Acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase, also known as ASMT, is an enzyme which catalyzes the final reaction in melatonin biosynthesis: converting Normelatonin to melatonin. This reaction is embedded in the more general tryptophan metabolism pathway. The enzyme also catalyzes a second reaction in tryptophan metabolism: the conversion of 5-hydroxy-indoleacetate to 5-methoxy-indoleacetate. The other enzyme which catalyzes this reaction is n-acetylserotonin-o-methyltransferase-like-protein.
N-Acetylserotonin (NAS), also known as normelatonin, is a naturally occurring chemical precursor and intermediate in the endogenous production of melatonin from serotonin. It also has biological activity in its own right, including acting as a melatonin receptor agonist, an agonist of the TrkB, and having antioxidant effects.
5-Hydroxytryptamine receptor 2B (5-HT2B) also known as serotonin receptor 2B is a protein that in humans is encoded by the HTR2B gene. 5-HT2B is a member of the 5-HT2 receptor family that binds the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT).
Melatonin receptor type 1A is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MTNR1A gene.
Metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the GRM4 gene.
Melatonin receptor 1B, also known as MTNR1B, is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MTNR1B gene.
G protein-coupled receptor 50 is a protein which in humans is encoded by the GPR50 gene.
The central melanocortin system is defined anatomically as a collection of central nervous system circuits which include:
Lorglumide (CR-1409) is a drug which inhibits gastrointestinal motility and reduces gastric secretions, acting as a cholecystokinin antagonist, with fairly high selectivity for the CCKA subtype. It has been suggested as a potential treatment for a variety of gastrointestinal problems including stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, constipation and pancreatitis, as well as some forms of cancer, but animal and human testing has produced inconsistent results and no clear therapeutic role has been established, although it is widely used in scientific research.
Melatonin receptor 1C, also known as MTNR1C, is a protein that is encoded by the Mtnr1c gene. This receptor has been identified in fish, amphibia, and birds, but not in humans.
Melatonin receptor agonists are analogues of melatonin that bind to and activate the melatonin receptor. Agonists of the melatonin receptor have a number of therapeutic applications including treatment of sleep disorders and depression. The discovery and development of melatonin receptor agonists was motivated by the need for more potent analogues than melatonin, with better pharmacokinetics and longer half-life. Melatonin receptor agonists were developed with the melatonin structure as a model.
Luzindole (N-0774), (N-acetyl-2-benzyltryptamine), is a drug used in scientific research to study the role of melatonin in the body. Luzindole acts as a selective melatonin receptor antagonist, with approximately 11- to 25-fold greater affinity for the MT2 over the MT1 receptor. In animal studies, it has been observed to disrupt the circadian rhythm as well as produce antidepressant effects.
TIK-301 (LY-156735) is an agonist for the melatonin receptors MT1 and MT2 that is under development for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders. Its agonist action on MT1 and MT2 receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the brain enables its action as a chronobiotic. It is in the same class of melatonin receptor agonists as ramelteon and tasimelteon.