The brain is especially susceptible to free radical attack since it is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and consumes very high amounts of oxygen. Melatonin is a non-enzymatic amphiphilic antioxidant hormone that is widely used in medicine for protective and treatment purposes in cases of oxidative stress. In the present work, the effects of the clinically used dose of melatonin (a single intraperitoneal dose of 100 mg/kg) on rat brain homogenate were investigated as a function of temperature using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results showed that the lipid to protein ratio decreases in the melatonin treated brain samples. Moreover, it is revealed that melatonin disorders and decreases the dynamics of lipids and induces a strengthening in the hydrogen bonding between the functional groups of both melatonin and the polar parts of lipids and/or water at physiological temperatures. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.