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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 21, pp 3941–3954 | Cite as

Melatonin, mitochondria, and the metabolic syndrome

  • Daniel P. Cardinali
  • Daniel E. Vigo
Multi-author review

Abstract

A number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease including hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, obesity, and elevated blood pressure are collectively known as metabolic syndrome (MS). Since mitochondrial activity is modulated by the availability of energy in cells, the disruption of key regulators of metabolism in MS not only affects the activity of mitochondria but also their dynamics and turnover. Therefore, a link of MS with mitochondrial dysfunction has been suspected since long. As a chronobiotic/cytoprotective agent, melatonin has a special place in prevention and treatment of MS. Melatonin levels are reduced in diseases associated with insulin resistance like MS. Melatonin improves sleep efficiency and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, partly for its role as a metabolic regulator and mitochondrial protector. We discuss in the present review the several cytoprotective melatonin actions that attenuate inflammatory responses in MS. The clinical data that support the potential therapeutical value of melatonin in human MS are reviewed.

Keywords

Melatonin Metabolic syndrome Mitochondria Inflammation Diabetes Obesity Insulin signaling Aging 

Abbreviations

AMPK

Adenosine monophosphate kinase

BP

Blood pressure

cAMP

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate

GSH

Glutathione

HbA1C

Glycated hemoglobin

IRS-1

Insulin receptor substrate 1

IL

Interleukin

mTOR

Mammalian target of rapamycin

MS

Metabolic syndrome

mPTP

Mitochondrial permeability transition pore

NAD+

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide+

NO

Nitric oxide

RNS

Reactive nitrogen species

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SNPs

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms

TNF

Tumor necrosis factor

Notes

Acknowledgements

Studies in authors’ laboratory were supported by Grants PICT 2007 01045 and 2012 0984 from the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Argentina.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BIOMED-UCA-CONICET and Department of Teaching and Research, Faculty of Medical SciencesPontificia Universidad Católica ArgentinaBuenos AiresArgentina

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