IMR Press / FBE / Volume 5 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/E601

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Review

Vascular endothelial cells and dysfunctions: role of melatonin

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1 Section of Human Anatomy, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnologies, University of Brescia, Italy

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editors: Fedor Simko, Ludovit Paulis, Russel J Reiter

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2013, 5(1), 119–129; https://doi.org/10.2741/E601
Published: 1 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protective effects of melatonin in cardiovascular system)
Abstract

Several pathological conditions, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, ischemia/reperfusion injury and nicotine-induced vasculopathy, are associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction characterized by altered secretory output of endothelial cells. Therefore there is a search for molecules and interventions that could restore endothelial function, in particular augmenting NO production, reducing the generation of free radicals and vasoconstrictors and preventing undesired inflammation. The pineal hormone melatonin exhibits several endothelium protective properties: it scavenges free radicals, activates antioxidant defence enzymes, normalizes lipid and blood pressure profile and increases NO bioavailability. Melatonin improved vascular function in experimental hypertension, reducing intimal infiltration and restoring NO production. Melatonin improved the NO pathway also in animal models for the study of diabetes and prevented NO downregulation and adhesive molecules up-regulation in nicotine-induced vasculopathy. The protection against endothelial damage, vasoconstriction, platelet aggregation and leukocyte infiltration might contribute to the beneficial effects against ischemia-reperfusion injury by melatonin. Therefore, melatonin administration has endothelium- protective potential in several pathological conditions. Nevertheless, it still needs to be established, whether melatonin is able to revert already established endothelial dysfunction in these conditions.

Keywords
Melatonin
Endothelium
Nitric oxide
Review
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