Therapeutic potential of melatonin in targeting molecular pathways of organ fibrosis

Azam Hosseinzadeh, Mohammad Hossein Pourhanifeh, Shiva Amiri, Mohammad Sheibani, Rana Irilouzadian, Russel J. Reiter, Saeed Mehrzadi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Fibrosis, the excessive deposition of fibrous connective tissue in an organ in response to injury, is a pathological condition affecting many individuals worldwide. Fibrosis causes the failure of tissue function and is largely irreversible as the disease progresses. Pharmacologic treatment options for organ fibrosis are limited, but studies suggest that antioxidants, particularly melatonin, can aid in preventing and controlling fibrotic damage to the organs. Melatonin, an indole nocturnally released from the pineal gland, is commonly used to regulate circadian and seasonal biological rhythms and is indicated for treating sleep disorders. While it is often effective in treating sleep disorders, melatonin's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties also make it a promising molecule for treating other disorders such as organ fibrosis. Melatonin ameliorates the necrotic and apoptotic changes that lead to fibrosis in various organs including the heart, liver, lung, and kidney. Moreover, melatonin reduces the infiltration of inflammatory cells during fibrosis development. This article outlines the protective effects of melatonin against fibrosis, including its safety and potential therapeutic effects. The goal of this article is to provide a summary of data accumulated to date and to encourage further experimentation with melatonin and increase its use as an anti-fibrotic agent in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-50
Number of pages26
JournalPharmacological Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Fibrosis
  • Inflammation
  • Melatonin
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pharmacology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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