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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(4), 8638-8683; doi:10.3390/ijms14048638
Review

Melatonin: Buffering the Immune System

1,†
, 1,†
, 2
, 2
 and 1,2,*
Received: 1 March 2013; in revised form: 6 April 2013 / Accepted: 7 April 2013 / Published: 22 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Research of Melatonin)
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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 melatonin; pineal; immune system; cytokines; inflammation; infection; autoimmunity; vaccination; immunosenescence
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.

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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

AMA Style

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.

Chicago/Turabian Style

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.


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