Special Issue "Advances in the Research of Melatonin 2014"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2014
Prof. Dr. Rudiger Hardeland
Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, University of Goettingen, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen, Germany
Considerable progress has been made during recent years in the research of melatonin and melatonergic signaling. This extends from the classic role of melatonin as a regulator of temporal processes in vertebrates to various other fields, such as actions in invertebrate animals, plants and unicellular organisms as well as various aspects of human health. The medicinal perspectives concern areas as different as gerontology, sleep research, mental disorders, immunology, oxidative stress including mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic disorders and diseases. An increasing number of studies are dealing with the corresponding effects of synthetic melatonergic agonists, which differ with regard to duration of action, receptor affinity and metabolism. In some cases, the melatonergic actions are associated with properties such as serotonergic antagonists. Despite this novel complexity, the effects of melatonin and its synthetic analogs on the circadian system continues to be of particular interest, especially as well-functioning of both central and peripheral circadian oscillators is increasingly perceived to be of significant importance to health. Phasing and coordination of rhythms and support of circadian amplitudes seem to represent an area in which cellular oscillations and melatonergic actions are intertwined, with mutual support and synergism in its physiological outcome. The hope is that maintenance of these time structures might overcome, to a certain degree, pathophysiological changes caused by aging and diseases. Melatonin and its synthetic analogs may represent tools for achieving this objective. The numerous perspectives resulting from new findings justify a continuation of the special issue on Advances in the Research of Melatonin that started in 2013.
Prof. Dr. Rudiger Hardeland
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Special Issue "Advances in the Research of Melatonin"
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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.
- antioxidative protection
- immune system
- melatonergic drugs
- mental disorders
- metabolic syndrome
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Melatonin Regulates Brain Aging and Neurodegeneration through Brain Energy Status, Epigenetic, Autophagy and Circadian Rhythm Pathways
Author: Piyarat Govitrapong
Affiliation: Research Center for Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Thailand
Abstract: Brain aging is linked to certain types of neurodegenerative disease and has become critical for the identification of new therapeutic targets. Melatonin, a pineal hormone, is found to associate with molecules and signalling pathways that sense and influence energy metabolism, autophagy, circadian rhythms including insulin-like growth factor I, FoXOs, sirtuins and mTOR signalling pathways. This review summarizes the current understanding of how melatonin together with molecular, cellular and systemic energy metabolisms regulate epigenetic processes in the neurons. This information will lead to greater understanding of molecular epigenetic aging of the brain and anti-aging mechanisms to increase life span under healthy conditions.
Title: Melatonin, Noncoding RNAs, Messenger RNA Stability and Epigenetics
Author: Rüdiger Hardeland
Affiliation: Johann Friedrich Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, University of Göttingen, Germany
Abstract: Melatonin is a highly pleiotropic regulator molecule, which influences numerous functions in most organs and, thus, up- or downregulates many genes, frequently in a circadian manner. Our understanding of the mechanisms controlling gene expression is actually expanding to a previously unforeseen extent. In addition to classic actions of transcription factors, gene expression is induced, suppressed or modulated by a number of RNAs and proteins, such as miRNAs, lncRNAs, piRNAs, antisense transcripts, deadenylases, DNA methyltransferases, histone methylation complexes, histone demethylases, histone acetyltransferases and histone deacetylases. Direct or indirect evidence for the importance of melatonin within this host of players comes from different fields in which the methoxyindole has been shown to act: central and peripheral circadian oscillators, shift work, cancer, inflammation, oxidative stress, aging, energy expenditure/obesity, diabetes type 2, neuropsychiatric disorders and neurogenesis. Some of the novel modulators are also involved in the control of melatonin biosynthesis and melatonin receptor expression.
Title: Therapeutic Effects of Melatonin in Patients with Insomnia Comorbid with Medical Disorders
Authors: Moshe Laudon and Anat Frydman
Affiliation: Neurim Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Tel Aviv, Israel
Abstract: The term “comorbid insomnia” emerged from the updated DSM-V criteria indicating the fact that primary and secondary insomnia are indistinguishable. Melatonin agonists have a mechanism of action that regulate normal sleep-wake cycles and readjust circadian rhythms, which may confer a better safety profile than traditional sedative-hypnotics that target gamma-aminobutyric acid and histamine receptors. The actions of melatonin extend beyond chronobiology to associate with comorbid neurological, psychiatric, cardiovascular and metabolic symptomatology. In the present review the available data on the efficacy and safety of melatonin and its agonists, in particular of the approved compounds (circadin, ramelteon, agomelatine), in the treatment of comorbid insomnia are summarized.
Title: Protecting the Melatonin Rhythm Using Circadian Healthy Light Exposure
Authors: M.A. Bonmatí, R. Argüelles, M.J. Martínez, R.J. Reiter, R. Hardeland and M.A. Rol, J.A. Madrid*
Affiliation: *Chronobiology Laboratory, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, Spain
Abstract: In developed countries, nights are too intensely illuminated whereas during daytime, because humans primarily stay indoors, they receive much less light than under natural conditions. This is particularly relevant to health in sensitive populations, such as youngsters, shift workers and the elderly. In spite of the positive impact of artificial light in modern society, we pay a physiological price for the easy access to light during the night: the disorganization of the circadian melatonin rhythm. Epidemiological studies show that disrupted melatonin secretion is associated with diabetes, obesity, cognitive and affective impairment, premature aging and some types of cancer. Importantly, not all wavelengths of light present the same chronodisruptive effects. Blue light is particularly beneficial during the daytime since it boosts vigilance, but seems to have the strongest inhibitory effects at night on melatonin levels. Nocturnal blue light exposure is currently increasing due to the proliferation of energy-efficient lighting (LEDs) as well as electronic devices with screens equipped with these diodes. In addition, many individuals are engaged in shift-work schedules and nocturnal leisure activities. Therefore, identification and development of lighting systems that preserve the melatonin rhythm has become an indispensable aim and challenge.
Title: Melatonin and Melatonin Isomers during the Evolution of Organisms
Authors: Dun-Xian Tan1, Lucien C. Manchester 1, Rüdiger Hardeland 2 and Russel J. Reiter 1
1 Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, The University of Texas, Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
2 Johann Friedrich Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.
Abstract: Melatonin and its isomers are coexistent in organisms including yeasts and bacteria and are found in plant products. In some cases, the levels of isomers are significantly higher than that of melatonin per se in fermented products such as in wine and bread. Currently, there is no report showing the presence of melatonin isomers in vertebrates. Based on evolution, it is difficult to exclude their existence in every group of organisms including vertebrates and archeae. The primary function of melatonin and its isomers in organisms is to serve as the first-line of defense against oxidative stress, whereas all other functions were aquired during evolution.
Last update: 24 March 2014