Immune system

Medical Studies on Melatonin and the Immune System

A strong immune system is an essential factor in human health, because it helps to successfully fight viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms, making it an important provider of protection against pathogens. It also affects wound healing and plays a key role in protecting against other diseases such as cancer. Melatonin is capable of regulating this complex system in such a way that it offers perfect protection while also not reacting excessively. To this end, it regulates both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory factors, which in turn control immune cells.

Versatile protective mechanisms

Oxidative damage in particular has a severe impact on human health and has been identified as a key factor in the genesis and development of numerous diseases. Melatonin plays a key role in this context. As a natural antioxidant of the body, it offers important protection against free radicals, but it also has many indirect effects too. For example, melatonin activates anti-oxidative enzymes, providing support for DNA repair processes, among other things.

Melatonin reduces cell damage

As was recently confirmed by a study, melatonin is a highly effective agent for treating inflammatory and immune diseases by inhibiting toll-like receptors (TLRs). These are of fundamental importance in the pathophysiology of diseases associated with inflammation processes, including those related to neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Other pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors are also positively affected by melatonin.

Medical Studies on Melatonin and the Immune System

Melatonin as adjuvant treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia patients requiring hospitalization (MAC-19 PRO): a case series

2020-06 Castillo RR, Quizon GRA, Juco MJM, Roman ADE, de Leon DG, Punzalan FER, Guingon RBL, Morales DD, Tan DX, Reiter RJ

Treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19) pneumonia remains empirical and the search for therapies that can improve outcomes continues. Melatonin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-modulating effects that may address key pathophysiologic mechanisms in the development and progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which has been implicated as the likely cause of death in COVID19.

The Effects of Melatonin Supplementation on Parameters of Mental Health, Glycemic Control, Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk, and Oxidative Stress in Diabetic Hemodialysis Patients: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

2020-05 Ostadmohammadi V, Soleimani A, Bahmani F, Aghadavod E, Ramezani R, Reiter RJ, Mansournia MA, Banikazemi Z, Soleimani M, Zaroudi M, Asemi Z

This study evaluated the effects of melatonin supplementation on parameters of mental health, glycemic control, markers of cardiometabolic risk, and oxidative stress in diabetic hemodialysis (HD) patients.

Effect of Nocturnal Melatonin Intake on Cellular Damage and Recovery From Repeated Sprint Performance During an Intensive Training Schedule.

2020-05 Farjallah MA, Ghattassi K, Ben Mahmoud L, Graja A, Boudaya M, Elleuch H, Jammoussi K, Sahnoun Z, Souissi N, Chtourou H, Hammouda O

An optimal recovery between training sessions is of similar if not greater importance as the training content and program of the training, itself. One of the most used strategies for improving recovery is the ingestion of supplements.

Can melatonin reduce the severity of COVID-19 pandemic?

2020-04 Shneider A, Kudriavtsev A, Vakhrusheva A

The current COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most devastating events in recent history. The virus causes relatively minor damage to young, healthy populations, imposing life-threatening danger to the elderly and people with diseases of chronic inflammation. Therefore, if we could reduce the risk for vulnerable populations, it would make the COVID-19 pandemic more similar to other typical outbreaks.

Melatonin has profound effects on mitochondrial dynamics in myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion.

2019-11 Dube K, Dhanabalan K, Salie R, Blignaut M, Huisamen B, Lochner A

Research focus recently shifted to mitochondrial dynamics and the role of fusion and fission in cardioprotection. The aim of this study was to evaluate (i) the function and dynamics of mitochondria isolated from hearts exposed to ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) (ii) the effects of melatonin, a powerful cardioprotectant, on mitochondrial dynamics in I/R.

Infusion of Melatonin Into the Paraventricular Nucleus Ameliorates Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury by Regulating Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Cytokines.

2019-10 Yang JB, Kang YM, Zhang C, Yu XJ, Chen WS

Melatonin, the receptors for which are abundant in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), can protect the heart from myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MI/R) injury. The aim of this study was to determine whether the infusion of melatonin into the PVN protects the heart from MI/R injury by suppressing oxidative stress or regulating the balance between proinflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines in MI/R rats.

Co-administering Melatonin With an Estradiol-Progesterone Menopausal Hormone Therapy Represses Mammary Cancer Development in a Mouse Model of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer.

2019-07 Dodda BR, Bondi CD, Hasan M, Clafshenkel WP, Gallagher KM, Kotlarczyk MP, Sethi S, Buszko E, Latimer JJ, Cline JM, Witt-Enderby PA, Davis VL

Melatonin has numerous anti-cancer properties reported to influence cancer initiation, promotion, and metastasis. With the need for effective hormone therapies (HT) to treat menopausal symptoms without increasing breast cancer risk, co-administration of nocturnal melatonin with a natural, low-dose HT was evaluated in mice that develop primary and metastatic mammary cancer.

Night workers have lower levels of antioxidant defenses and higher levels of oxidative stress damage when compared to day workers.

2019-03 Teixeira KRC, Dos Santos CP, de Medeiros LA, Mendes JA, Cunha TM, De Angelis K, Penha-Silva N,  de Oliveira EP, Crispim CA

The effects of circadian misalignment and work shift on oxidative stress profile of shift workers have not been explored in the literature. The present study aimed to evaluate the role of shift work (day and night) and social jetlag - a measure of circadian misalignment - with oxidative stress markers.

Melatonin as a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant: one of evolution’s best ideas.

2017-11 Reiter RJ, Rosales-Corral S, Tan DX, Jou MJ, Galano A, Xu B

Melatonin is an ancient antioxidant. After its initial development in bacteria, it has been retained throughout evolution such that it may be or may have been present in every species that have existed. Even though it has been maintained throughout evolution during the diversification of species, melatonin’s chemical structure has never changed; thus, the melatonin …

Melatonin as a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant: one of evolution’s best ideas. Read More »

Melatonin, a Full Service Anti-Cancer Agent: Inhibition of Initiation, Progression and Metastasis.

2017-04 Reiter RJ, Rosales-Corral SA, Tan DX, Acuna-Castroviejo D, Qin L, Yang SF, Xu K

There is highly credible evidence that melatonin mitigates cancer at the initiation, progression and metastasis phases. In many cases, the molecular mechanisms underpinning these inhibitory actions have been proposed. What is rather perplexing, however, is the large number of processes by which melatonin reportedly restrains cancer development and growth.

Melatonin signaling and cell protection function.

2010-10 Luchetti F, Canonico B, Betti M, Arcangeletti M, Pilolli F, Piroddi M, Piroddi M, Canesi L, Papa S, Galli F

Besides its well-known regulatory role on circadian rhythm, the pineal gland hormone melatonin has other biological functions and a distinct metabolism in various cell types and peripheral tissues. In different tissues and organs, melatonin has been described to act as a paracrine and also as an intracrine and autocrine agent with overall homeostatic functions and pleiotropic effects that include cell protection and prosurvival factor.

Antioxidant properties of the melatonin metabolite N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AMK): scavenging of free radicals and prevention of protein destruction.

2003-12 Ressmeyer AR, Mayo JC, Zelosko V, Sáinz RM, Tan DX, Poeggeler B, Antolín I, Zsizsik BK, Reiter RJ, Hardeland R

In numerous experimental systems, the neurohormone melatonin has been shown to protect against oxidative stress, an effect which appears to be the result of a combination of different actions. In this study, we have investigated the possible contribution to radical scavenging by substituted kynuramines formed from melatonin via pyrrole ring cleavage.

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