Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2003;527:549-57.

Mitochondrial regulation by melatonin and its metabolites.

Author information

Departamento de Fisiologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Granada, Avenida de Madrid 11, E-18012 Granada, Spain.


Our results show that melatonin and N-acetyl-5-methoxykynurenamine (aMK) physiologically regulate both the electron transport chain (ETC) and OXPHOS, increasing the electron transport and ATP synthesis by normal mitochondria. Melatonin also counteracts mitochondrial oxidative damage induced by t-butyl hydroperoxide, recovering glutathione levels and ATP production. However, the effects of melatonin not only depend of its antioxidant properties, since the indoleamine specifically interacts with complex I and IV of the ETC increasing their activity. Experiments in vivo showed that melatonin administration prevents sepsis-induced ETC damage decreasing the activity and expression of INOS and mtNOS, thus reducing intramitochondrial nitric oxide (NO) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) levels. Consequently, mitochondrial ETC ad ATP production recovered to normal conditions. The presence of specific binding of melatonin in mitochondrial matrix led us to explore the genomic role of the indoleamine in these organelles. In vivo and in vitro experiments showed that administration of melatonin increased mtONA transcriptional activity of the subunits 1-3 of the complex IV. These effects correlated well with the effects of melatonin on complex IV activity. The data suggest a new rate for melatonin to regulate mitochondrial homeostasis. Due to the relationships between mitochondrial damage, aging and neurodegenerative diseases, the effects of melatonin here described further support its antiaging and neuroprotective properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center