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Molecules 2018, 23(2), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020509

Mitochondria: Central Organelles for Melatonin′s Antioxidant and Anti-Aging Actions

1
Department of Cellular and Structural Biology UT Health San Antonio, San Antonio, SD 78229, USA
2
Centro de Investigacion Biomedica de Occidente, Instituo Mexicana del Seguro Social, Guadalajara 44346, Mexico
3
Departamento de Quimica, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Iztapatapa, Mexico D.F. 09340, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract

Melatonin, along with its metabolites, have long been known to significantly reduce the oxidative stress burden of aging cells or cells exposed to toxins. Oxidative damage is a result of free radicals produced in cells, especially in mitochondria. When measured, melatonin, a potent antioxidant, was found to be in higher concentrations in mitochondria than in other organelles or subcellular locations. Recent evidence indicates that mitochondrial membranes possess transporters that aid in the rapid uptake of melatonin by these organelles against a gradient. Moreover, we predicted several years ago that, because of their origin from melatonin-producing bacteria, mitochondria likely also synthesize melatonin. Data accumulated within the last year supports this prediction. A high content of melatonin in mitochondria would be fortuitous, since these organelles produce an abundance of free radicals. Thus, melatonin is optimally positioned to scavenge the radicals and reduce the degree of oxidative damage. In light of the “free radical theory of aging”, including all of its iterations, high melatonin levels in mitochondria would be expected to protect against age-related organismal decline. Also, there are many age-associated diseases that have, as a contributing factor, free radical damage. These multiple diseases may likely be deferred in their onset or progression if mitochondrial levels of melatonin can be maintained into advanced age. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxidative stress; free radicals; electron transport chain; oxidative phosphorylation; free radical theory of aging; melatonin uptake; melatonin synthesis oxidative stress; free radicals; electron transport chain; oxidative phosphorylation; free radical theory of aging; melatonin uptake; melatonin synthesis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Reiter, R.J.; Tan, D.X.; Rosales-Corral, S.; Galano, A.; Zhou, X.J.; Xu, B. Mitochondria: Central Organelles for Melatonin′s Antioxidant and Anti-Aging Actions. Molecules 2018, 23, 509.

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