In Göttingen, Germany, circadian variations in melatonin had been determined time-macroscopically in pineal glands, blood plasma and duodenum of chicken and rats. When these data were meta-analyzed, they agreed with the results from an independent survey on tissues from rats collected in a laboratory in Pécs, Hungary. In the latter study, tissues were analyzed chemically in Bratislava, Slovakia, and numerically in Minneapolis, MN, USA, all by single- and multiple-component cosinor and parameter tests. In rats and chickens, these inferential statistical procedures clearly demonstrated a lead in phase of the 24-h cosine curves best fitting all of the duodenal vs. those best fitting all of the pineal melatonin values in each species in 2 geographic (geomagnetic) locations. The 24-h cosine curve of circulating melatonin was found to be in an intermediate phase position. Mechanisms of the phase differences and the contribution of gastrointestinal melatonin to circulating hormone concentrations are discussed.
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