Although hemorrhagic shock leads to significant alterations of several hormones, e.g. ACTH, corticosterone and β-endorphin, it is not known whether plasma melatonin levels are affected under this condition and if so, whether the effects are comparable in males and females. Using a radioimmunoassay, it was found that plasma melatonin levels were significantly increased in male and proestrus female C3H/HeN mice immediately after hemorrhagic shock. However, in male mice, by two hours after hemorrhage and resuscitation, plasma melatonin returned to levels comparable to those seen in control and sham-operated animals. Proestrus female mice, on the other hand, showed significantly increased plasma melatonin levels at two hours after surgery when compared to unoperated control animals. Although the significance and biological role of the transient increased plasma melatonin levels after hemorrhagic shock remain to be determined, it appears that the pineal gland and/or an extrapineal source of melatonin, of both male and proestrus female mice responds to severe hypotension by increased release of melatonin.