The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of melatonin on acute necrotizing pancreatitis (ANP) induced by glyco-deoxycholic acid in rats. The induction of ANP resulted in significant increases in mortality rate, pancreatic necrosis and increased serum activity of amylase, alanine aspartate transferase (ALT), interleukin 6 (IL-6), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, serum concentration of urea, tissue activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in the pancreas and lung, and significant decrease of concentrations of calcium, blood pressure, urine output and pO(2)-Melatonin inhibited the changes in blood pressure, urine output, pO(2), serum concentration of urea, and calcium, tissue activity of MPO and MDA in the pancreas and lung, LDH level in BAL fluid, and partially reduced serum activity of IL-6. Melatonin did not change serum activity of amylase, ALT, pancreatic damage and the mortality rate. The use of melatonin has a limited value on the course of ANP. It may be useful as a supportive treatment during ANP.