Melatonin and its atheroprotective effects: A review

Gaia Favero, Luigi Fabrizio Rodella, Russel J. Reiter, Rita Rezzani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis is a chronic vascular disease in which oxidative stress and inflammation are commonly implicated as major causative factors. Identification of novel strategies that contribute to plaque stabilization or inhibition represents a continuing challenge for the medical community.The evidence from the last decade highlights that melatonin influences the cardiovascular system, but its mechanisms of action have not been definitively clarified. Melatonin has atheroprotective effects by acting on different pathogenic signaling processes; these result from its direct free radical scavenger activity, its indirect antioxidant properties and its anti-inflammatory actions.In this review, we summarize the many pieces of the puzzle which identified molecular targets for prevention and therapy against the atherosclerotic pathogenic processes and we evaluate the data documenting that melatonin treatment has important actions that protect against atherosclerosis and atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-937
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 2014


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Melatonin
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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