Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Biology Dept.


Andrea R. Tilden

Second Advisor

Julie T. Millard


Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is an indolamine hormone produced by the pineal gland that works to regulate sleep/wake cycles and activity rhythms. The effects of melatonin in metabolism are far from understood. Melatonin was injected into the fiddler crab, Uca pugilator, to investigate the effects of melatonin on hemolymph glucose and lactate levels. Following injection at t=O, hemolymph samples were collected at t=O.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 5.0 hours. Melatonin caused a decrease in the stress response to injection and also caused delayed hyperglycemia. Melatonin-injected crabs also retained the glucose and lactate rhythymicity when compared to saline-injected crabs. Glucose and lactate rhythms followed the same pattern indicating that the cycles are coupled. Also, melatonin was synthesized using tbe Fischer Indole synthesis and characterized using H?NMR. The synthetic melatonin demonstrated biological activity when injected into the crabs as when compared to pure melatonin on the effects on glucose and lactate concentrations. Overall, melatonin influences both glucose metabolism and the production of lactate.


Melatonin -- Physiological effect, Blood sugar, Lactates, Fiddler crabs

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Dalton 1.jpg (87 kB)
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Dalton 3.jpg (187 kB)
Dalton 3.jpg

Dalton 4.jpg (305 kB)
Dalton 4.jpg

Dalton 5.jpg (306 kB)
Dalton 5.jpg

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