Melatonin and mitochondrial function during ischemia/reperfusion injury

Zhiqiang Ma, Zhenlong Xin, Wencheng Di, Xiaolong Yan, Xiaofei Li, Russel J. Reiter, Yang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury occurs in many organs and tissues, and contributes to morbidity and mortality worldwide. Melatonin, an endogenously produced indolamine, provides a strong defense against IR injury. Mitochondrion, an organelle for ATP production and a decider for cell fate, has been validated to be a crucial target for melatonin to exert its protection against IR injury. In this review, we first clarify the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunction during IR and melatonin’s protection of mitochondria under this condition. Thereafter, special focus is placed on the protective actions of melatonin against IR injury in brain, heart, liver, and others. Finally, we explore several potential future directions of research in this area. Collectively, the information compiled here will serve as a comprehensive reference for the actions of melatonin in IR injury identified to date and will hopefully aid in the design of future research and increase the potential of melatonin as a therapeutic agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3989-3998
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Ischemia/reperfusion injury
  • Melatonin
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Pharmacology


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