Effects of melatonin on startle reflex in rat.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/0196-9781(81)90070-x
In two experiments the effects of melatonin were investigated on the motor, cardiac and emotional components of the startle reflex induced by an intense acoustic stimulus. Melatonin inhibited the motor movements and significantly decreased the HR responses of rats pretested with these procedures. Melatonin decreased the HR responses to stimulation whereas the HR responses of the rats treated with the vehicle solution increased. Melatonin treatment also inhibited the startle-induced defecation compared with the vehicle injection. These findings suggest that melatonin exerts inhibitory effects on the CNS, on sensory reflex and on stress responses.