Melatonin for Sepsis

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Melatonin plays an important role in your immune function. It has antioxidant and mitochondrial-protective functions, and has been shown to be effective against various bacterial and viral infections
  • Melatonin has been shown to reverse septic shock symptoms by decreasing synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines; preventing lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced oxidative damage, endotoxemia and metabolic alterations; suppressing gene expression of nitric oxide synthase; and preventing apoptosis (cell death)
  • A metabolite of melatonin, 6-hydroxymelatonin, has beneficial effects on sepsis-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and cytokine responses
  • Melatonin can also protect against polymicrobial sepsis, i.e., sepsis caused by more than one microbial organism. In this case, melatonin appears to offer protection by having an antibacterial effect on white blood cells called neutrophils
  • The inflammasome NLRP3 is a key culprit in acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury, both of which are potential outcomes of COVID-19 infection. Melatonin inhibits the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes, thus offering potential protection against infection

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