The chemistry of melatonin's interaction with reactive species

M. Allegra, Russel J. Reiter, D. X. Tan, C. Gentile, L. Tesoriere, M. A. Livrea

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

701 Scopus citations


Melatonin has been shown to be an effective antioxidant in a number of experimental models both in vitro and in vivo. Considering the data available, it is now clear that the indoleamine is involved in antioxidative mechanisms more complex than originally envisaged. These range from the direct radical scavenging of a variety of radicals and reactive species to the control and/or modulation of a number of processes which may trigger a redox imbalance between antioxidant and prooxidant species. This review focuses on the direct radical scavenging activity of melatonin and provides a summary of the mechanisms of the reactions between the indoleamine and reactive species in pure chemical solutions. These actions likely account for at least some of the protective actions of melatonin under conditions of high oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Antioxidant
  • Free radicals
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Melatonin
  • Nitric oxide
  • Peroxynitrite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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