Melatonin: The dawning of a treatment for fibrosis?

Wei Hu, Zhiqiang Ma, Shuai Jiang, Chongxi Fan, Chao Deng, Xiaolong Yan, Shouyin Di, Jianjun Lv, Russel J. Reiter, Yang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Fibrosis is a common occurrence following organ injury and failure. To date, there is no effective treatment for this condition. Melatonin targets numerous molecular pathways, a consequence of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that reduce excessive fibrosis. Herein, we review the multiple protective effects of melatonin against fibrosis. There exist four major phases of the fibrogenic response including primary injury to the organ, activation of effector cells, the elaboration of extracellular matrix (ECM) and dynamic deposition. Melatonin regulates each of these phases. Additionally, melatonin reduces fibrosis levels in numerous organs. Melatonin exhibits its anti-fibrosis effects in heart, liver, lung, kidney, and other organs. In addition, adhesions which occur following surgical procedures are also inhibited by melatonin. The information reviewed here should be significant to understanding the protective role of melatonin against fibrosis, contribute to the design of further experimental studies related to melatonin and the fibrotic response and shed light on a potential treatment for fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • fibrosis
  • melatonin
  • protective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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