Melatonin, a hormone synthesized by both the pineal gland and retina, functions as an important modulator of a number of physiological functions. In addition to its rather well-established roles in the regulation of circadian rhythms, sleep, and reproduction, melatonin has also been identified as an important regulator of glucose metabolism.
Recent genomic studies have also shown that disruption of melatonin receptors signaling may contribute to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, although the exact mechanisms underlying its action remain unclear. Additionally, a large number of animal studies have highlighted a role for melatonin in the regulation of both glucose metabolism and energy balance. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the role that melatonin and its associated receptors play in the regulation of metabolism.