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Biol Signals Recept. 1998 Jan-Feb;7(1):61-72.

Melatonin involvement in immunity and cancer.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Milan, Italy.


The most studied endocrine product of the pineal gland, melatonin, has been reported to be involved in the feedback between neuroendocrine and immune functions and to exert oncostatic action, at least in certain experimental conditions. Melatonin seems to be an integral part of the immune system, by exerting direct and/or indirect stimulatory effects on both cellular and humoral immunity. Likewise, an antitumor activity of melatonin has been shown in several experimental models in vivo and in vitro. The means by which melatonin exerts its effects on immunity and neoplastic growth have not been elucidated. The different putative mechanisms of action of melatonin investigated so far are here briefly discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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