Melatonin is a neurohormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates sleep and circadian functions. Melatonin also regulates inflammatory and immune processes acting as both an activator and inhibitor of these responses. Melatonin differentially modulates pro-inflammatory enzymes, controls production of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines and leukotrienes and regulates the lifespan of leukocytes by interfering with apoptotic processes. Moreover, its potent antioxidant ability allows scavenging of oxidative stress in the inflamed tissues. The antioxidant role of melatonin may be of potential use for conditions in which oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiologic processes. The multiplicity of actions and variety of biological effects of melatonin suggest the potential for a range of clinical and wellness-enhancing uses. Oxidative stress plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of lung diseases. Melatonin supports lung function and prevents from the injury to the airway structure through the inhibition of the oxidative stress in subjects with pulmonary diseases. This review summarizes and discusses the potential therapeutic uses of melatonin for lung diseases.
Manuscripts that are Published Ahead of Print have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Editorial Board of the West Indian Medical Journal. They may appear in their original format and may not be copy edited or formatted in the style guide of this Journal. While accepted manuscripts are not yet assigned a volume, issue or page numbers, they can be cited using the DOI and date of e-publication. See our Instructions for Authors on how to properly cite manuscripts at this stage. The contents of the manuscript may change before it is published in its final form. Manuscripts in this section will be removed once they have been issued to a volume and issue, but will still retain the DOI and date of e-publication.