Melatonin is a hormone involved in various physiological processes such as the circadian cycle, hormone release and immune response. High-affinity melatonin receptors are classified in two pharmacologically distinct groups: Mel1 and Mel2. These receptors have first been localized in different organs and brain structures and some subtypes have since been cloned. Inhibition of adenylyl cyclase by Mel1 receptors is the best investigated signalling pathway but cannot be entirely responsible for the diversity of melatonin-induced phenomena. Phospholipase C, potassium ion channels and guanylyl cyclases have also been reported to be modulated by melatonin. This review updates present knowledge of the characterization and signalization of melatonin receptors.