Protective role of melatonin in neonatal diseases

Eloisa Gitto, Lucia Marseglia, Sara Manti, Gabriella D'Angelo, Ignazio Barberi, Carmelo Salpietro, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

59 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress contributes to the severity of several newborn conditions to the extent that Saugstad coined the phrase "oxygen radical diseases of neonatology." In order to counteract free radicals damage many strategies to augment antioxidant status in ill-term and preterm infants have been proposed and several medications have been experimented with mixed results. Several studies have tested the efficacy of melatonin to counteract oxidative damage in diseases of newborns such as chronic lung disease, perinatal brain injury, necrotizing enterocolitis, and retinopathy of prematurity, giving promising results. The peculiar perinatal susceptibility to oxidative stress indicates that prophylactic use of antioxidants as melatonin could help to prevent or at least reduce oxidative stress related diseases in newborns. However, more studies are needed to confirm these beneficial effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number980374
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
StatePublished - 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Gitto, E., Marseglia, L., Manti, S., D'Angelo, G., Barberi, I., Salpietro, C., & Reiter, R. J. (2013). Protective role of melatonin in neonatal diseases. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, [980374].