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CNS Neurosci Ther. 2009 Winter;15(4):345-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2009.00105.x. Epub 2009 Oct 10.

The antiapoptotic activity of melatonin in neurodegenerative diseases.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. xwang@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Melatonin plays a neuroprotective role in models of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying neuroprotection by melatonin are not well understood. Apoptotic cell death in the central nervous system is a feature of neurodegenerative diseases. The intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways and the antiapoptotic survival signal pathways play critical roles in neurodegeneration. This review summarizes the reports to date showing inhibition by melatonin of the intrinsic apoptotic pathways in neurodegenerative diseases including stroke, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Furthermore, the activation of survival signal pathways by melatonin in neurodegenerative diseases is discussed.

PMID:
19818070
PMCID:
PMC2846661
DOI:
10.1111/j.1755-5949.2009.00105.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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