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Melatonin: Buffering the Immune System
Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS) and Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Virgen del Rocío University Hospital/CSIC/University of Seville, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS) and Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Virgen del Rocío University Hospital/CSIC/University of Seville, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 March 2013; in revised form: 6 April 2013 / Accepted: 7 April 2013 / Published: 22 April 2013
Abstract: Melatonin modulates a wide range of physiological functions with pleiotropic effects on the immune system. Despite the large number of reports implicating melatonin as an immunomodulatory compound, it still remains unclear how melatonin regulates immunity. While some authors argue that melatonin is an immunostimulant, many studies have also described anti-inflammatory properties. The data reviewed in this paper support the idea of melatonin as an immune buffer, acting as a stimulant under basal or immunosuppressive conditions or as an anti-inflammatory compound in the presence of exacerbated immune responses, such as acute inflammation. The clinical relevance of the multiple functions of melatonin under different immune conditions, such as infection, autoimmunity, vaccination and immunosenescence, is also reviewed.
Keywords: melatonin; pineal; immune system; cytokines; inflammation; infection; autoimmunity; vaccination; immunosenescence
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Carrillo-Vico, A.; Lardone, P.J.; Álvarez-Sánchez, N.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, A.; Guerrero, J.M. Melatonin: Buffering the Immune System. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 8638-8683.
Carrillo-Vico A, Lardone PJ, Álvarez-Sánchez N, Rodríguez-Rodríguez A, Guerrero JM. Melatonin: Buffering the Immune System. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(4):8638-8683.
Carrillo-Vico, Antonio; Lardone, Patricia J.; Álvarez-Sánchez, Nuria; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Ana; Guerrero, Juan M. 2013. "Melatonin: Buffering the Immune System." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 4: 8638-8683.