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Pharmacol Res. 2012 Apr;65(4):437-44. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2012.01.003. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

New perspectives in melatonin uses.

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Laboratorio Dr Fernando Cañas, Cátedra de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.


This review summarizes the metabolism, secretion, regulation and sites of action of melatonin. An updated description of the melatonin receptors, including their signal transduction mechanisms, distribution and characterization of receptor genes, is given. Special emphasis is focused on the clinical aspects and potential uses of melatonin in the sleep-wake rhythms, in the immune function, in cancer therapy, in neuroprotection against oxidative damage and antioxidant activities in different tissues. Finally, combined effects of melatonin with other drugs are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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