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Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 36–39 | Cite as

Melatonin in relation to the antioxidative defense and immune systems: possible implications for cell and organ transplantation

  • R. J. Reiter
  • Georges J. M. Maestroni
Review

Abstract

Melatonin, a molecule synthesized and secreted by the mammalian (including human) pineal gland, has a variety of seemingly unrelated functions in organisms. In photoperiodically-dependent seasonal breeders, the changing melatonin signal imparts seasonal information to the species thereby regulating the annual cycle of reproduction [1]. Melatonin also is involved in a number of 24 h rhythms and is believed to be an important component of the circadian system [2, 3]. More recently, melatonin was found to relate to immune function [4] in organisms and to be an effective antioxidant [5]. As an antioxidant melatonin would appear to provide substantial protection against free radicals which are generated under a variety of experimental corrections, including ischemia/reperfusion injury [6, 7]. These latter two functions of melatonin, i.e., as an immune system modulator and as an antioxidant, both may have applicability to cell and organ transplantation [8–11].

Keywords

Immune System Free Radical Melatonin Immune Function Seasonal Breeder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Reiter
    • 1
  • Georges J. M. Maestroni
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, The University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78284-7762, USAUS
  2. 2.Istituto Cantonale di Patologia, Center for Experimental Pathology, 6604 Locarno, SwitzerlandCH

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