Next Article in Journal
Combined Taurine, Epigallocatechin Gallate and Genistein Therapy Reduces HSC-T6 Cell Proliferation and Modulates the Expression of Fibrogenic Factors
Next Article in Special Issue
Cancer Stem Cell Theory and the Warburg Effect, Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Previous Article in Journal
Significant Overexpression of DVL1 in Taiwanese Colorectal Cancer Patients with Liver Metastasis
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Molecular and Chemical Perspective in Defining Melatonin Receptor Subtype Selectivity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(10), 20508-20542; doi:10.3390/ijms141020508
Review

Advances in the Research of Melatonin in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Literature Review and New Perspectives

1,2,* , 1
,
3,4
,
5,6
,
2
,
7
,
8
,
9,10
,
9,10
,
1
,
1
,
1
,
11
,
3,4
,
12
 and
1
Received: 6 August 2013 / Revised: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 13 September 2013 / Published: 14 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Research of Melatonin)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [301 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]

Abstract

Abnormalities in melatonin physiology may be involved or closely linked to the pathophysiology and behavioral expression of autistic disorder, given its role in neurodevelopment and reports of sleep-wake rhythm disturbances, decreased nocturnal melatonin production, and beneficial therapeutic effects of melatonin in individuals with autism. In addition, melatonin, as a pineal gland hormone produced from serotonin, is of special interest in autistic disorder given reported alterations in central and peripheral serotonin neurobiology. More specifically, the role of melatonin in the ontogenetic establishment of circadian rhythms and the synchronization of peripheral oscillators opens interesting perspectives to ascertain better the mechanisms underlying the significant relationship found between lower nocturnal melatonin excretion and increased severity of autistic social communication impairments, especially for verbal communication and social imitative play. In this article, first we review the studies on melatonin levels and the treatment studies of melatonin in autistic disorder. Then, we discuss the relationships between melatonin and autistic behavioral impairments with regard to social communication (verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction), and repetitive behaviors or interests with difficulties adapting to change. In conclusion, we emphasize that randomized clinical trials in autism spectrum disorders are warranted to establish potential therapeutic efficacy of melatonin for social communication impairments and stereotyped behaviors or interests.
Keywords: melatonin; biological clocks; circadian rhythm; synchrony; autism spectrum disorders; social communication; stereotyped behaviors melatonin; biological clocks; circadian rhythm; synchrony; autism spectrum disorders; social communication; stereotyped behaviors
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.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote
MDPI and ACS Style

Tordjman, S.; Najjar, I.; Bellissant, E.; Anderson, G.M.; Barburoth, M.; Cohen, D.; Jaafari, N.; Schischmanoff, O.; Fagard, R.; Lagdas, E.; Kermarrec, S.; Ribardiere, S.; Botbol, M.; Fougerou, C.; Bronsard, G.; Vernay-Leconte, J. Advances in the Research of Melatonin in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Literature Review and New Perspectives. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 20508-20542.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Comments

Citing Articles

[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert