The melatonergic pathway and its interactions in modulating respiratory system disorders

Gianluigi Mazzoccoli, Igor Kvetnoy, Ekaterina Mironova, Petr Yablonskiy, Evgenii Sokolovich, Julia Krylova, Annalucia Carbone, George Anderson, Victoria Polyakova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Melatonin is a key intracellular neuroimmune-endocrine regulator and coordinator of multiple complex and interrelated biological processes. The main functions of melatonin include the regulation of neuroendocrine and antioxidant system activity, blood pressure, rhythms of the sleep-wake cycle, the retardation of ageing processes, as well as reseting and optimizing mitochondria and thereby the cells of the immune system. Melatonin and its agonists have therefore been mooted as a treatment option across a wide array of medical disorders. This article reviews the role of melatonin in the regulation of respiratory system functions under normal and pathological conditions. Melatonin can normalize the structural and functional organization of damaged lung tissues, by a number of mechanisms, including the regulation of signaling molecules, oxidant status, lipid raft function, optimized mitochondrial function and reseting of the immune response over the circadian rhythm. Consequently, melatonin has potential clinical utility for bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, lung vascular diseases, as well as pulmonary and viral infections. The integration of melatonin's effects with the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the regulation of mitochondrial function are proposed as a wider framework for understanding the role of melatonin across a wide array of diverse pulmonary disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111397
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Ageing
  • Alpha 7 nicotinic receptor
  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
  • Melatonin
  • Mitochondria
  • Neuroimmunoendocrinology
  • Respiratory system
  • Signaling molecules
  • TreatmentNot applicable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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