Microbial Source of Melatonin and Its Clinical Aspects

  • Sanjay Kumar
  • Brendan Patrick Mulligan
  • Shreesh Ojha
  • Alex Tinson


Melatonin chemically known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine is a small physiological compound of diversified functions. Melatonin has been found in phylogenetically different taxa of bacteria, unicellular eukaryote, microalgae, plants, fungi, and animals. Identification of melatonin in many of these microorganisms is missing, and its function is rarely known. Although, melatonin in microorganisms is not essentially involved in circadian process, rather, it exhibits antioxidant property also and may protect chlorophyll pigment to damage from stress and free radicals. Mostly, the pathway for melatonin synthesis in microorganisms shows similarity with vertebrates. Investigation on melatonin in some organisms allows more concrete discussion about their possible role. The various functions of melatonin in human including sleep and regulation of circadian rhythm has been well characterized. Here, we have focused on the mechanism of immune regulatory, antioxidant, and scavenging property of melatonin during pathogenesis caused by fungi, bacteria, and virus. This article will provide a view on microbial sources and possible therapeutic aspects of melatonin in future.


Melatonin Circadian process Immune regulation Antioxidant property Scavenger of free radicals 



The authors thank the Department of President Affairs (DOPA), Abu Dhabi, UAE, for financial support and facilities. We also thank Dr. Sudhuman Singh, a postdoctoral fellow, Haifa University, Israel, for providing the articles.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay Kumar
    • 1
  • Brendan Patrick Mulligan
    • 1
  • Shreesh Ojha
    • 2
  • Alex Tinson
    • 1
  1. 1.IVF LaboratoryManagement of Scientific Center and Presidential Camel, Department of President AffairsAl Ain, Abu DhabiUAE
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and TherapeuticsCollege of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates UniversityAl-Ain, Abu DhabiUAE

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