Beneficial actions of melatonin in the management of viral infections: A new use for this "molecular handyman"?

Jose Antonio Boga, Ana Coto-Montes, Sergio A. Rosales-Corral, Dun Xian Tan, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a multifunctional signaling molecule that has a variety of important functions. Numerous clinical trials have examined the therapeutic usefulness of melatonin in different fields of medicine. Clinical trials have shown that melatonin is efficient in preventing cell damage under acute (sepsis, asphyxia in newborns) and chronic states (metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, inflammation, aging). The beneficial effects of melatonin can be explained by its properties as a potent antioxidant and antioxidant enzyme inducer, a regulator of apoptosis and a stimulator of immune functions. These effects support the use of melatonin in viral infections, which are often associated with inflammatory injury and increases in oxidative stress. In fact, melatonin has been used recently to treat several viral infections, which are summarized in this review. The role of melatonin in infections is also discussed herein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-338
Number of pages16
JournalReviews in Medical Virology
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this