Markus, Regina P.
Fernandes, Pedro A.
Kinker, Gabriela S.
Cruz-Machado, Sanseray da Silveira
Total Authors: 5
British Journal of Pharmacology;
n. 16, SI,
Web of Science Citations:
Melatonin is well known for its circadian production by the pineal gland, and there is a growing body of data showing that it is also produced by many other cells and organs, including immune cells. The chronobiotic role of pineal melatonin, as well as its protective effects in vitro and in vivo, have been extensively explored. However, the interaction between the chronobiotic and defence functions of endogenous melatonin has been little investigated. This review details the current knowledge regarding the coordinated shift in melatonin synthesis from the pineal gland (circadian and monitoring roles) to the regulation of acute immune responses via immune cell production and autocrine effects, producing systemic interactions termed the immune-pineal axis. An acute inflammatory response drives the transcription factor, NFB, to switch melatonin synthesis from pinealocytes to macrophages/microglia and, upon acute inflammatory resolution, back to pinealocytes. The potential pathophysiological relevance of immune-pineal axis dysregulation is highlighted, with both research and clinical implications, across several medical conditions, including host/parasite interaction, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. (AU)