The current study was undertaken to uncover the role of melatonin in lipid metabolism in the murine fibroblasts. The results show melatonin in vitro enhances lipid accumulation and lipid droplet formation in this cell line. Using oil red O staining, it was found that when oleic acid was present in the culture media, melatonin at doses of 0.1-2mM, significantly increased the lipid concentrations in the cells. However, low levels of melatonin, with or without oleic acid, did not influence lipid metabolism in the cultured fibroblasts. When a non-specific melatonin receptor antagonist, luzindole 10 microM was co-incubated with 1mM melatonin, the stimulatory effects of melatonin on lipid accumulation in these cells was significantly reduced. It appears that the effects of melatonin on lipid metabolism in murine fibroblasts is mediated by melatonin membrane receptors.