Utilizing melatonin to combat bacterial infections and septic injury

Wei Hu, Chao Deng, Zhiqiang Ma, Dongjin Wang, Chongxi Fan, Tian Li, Shouyin Di, Bing Gong, Russel J. Reiter, Yang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a ubiquitously acting molecule that is produced by the pineal gland and other organs of animals, including humans. As melatonin and its metabolites are potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers, they are protective against a variety of disorders. Moreover, multiple molecular targets of melatonin have been identified, and its actions are both receptor-mediated and receptor-independent. Recent studies have shown that melatonin may be useful in fighting against sepsis and septic injury due to its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory actions; the results generally indicate a promising therapeutic application for melatonin in the treatment of sepsis. To provide a comprehensive understanding regarding the protective effects of melatonin against septic injury, in the present review we have evaluated the published literature in which melatonin has been used to treat experimental and clinical sepsis. Firstly, we present the evidence from studies that have used melatonin to resist bacterial pathogens. Secondly, we illustrate the protective effect of melatonin against septic injury and discuss the possible mechanisms. Finally, the potential directions for future melatonin research against sepsis are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-768
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Utilizing melatonin to combat bacterial infections and septic injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this