Melatonin as a promising agent of regulating stem cell biology and its application in disease therapy

Research paper by Zhang Shuo, Simon Chen; Li Yuan; Yu Liu

Indexed on: 02 Jan '17Published on: 30 Dec '16Published in: Pharmacological Research


Publication date: Available online 30 December 2016 Source:Pharmacological Research Author(s): Zhang Shuo, Simon Chen, Li Yuan, Yu Liu Stem cells have emerged as an important approach to repair and regenerate damaged tissues or organs and show great therapeutic potential in a variety of diseases. However, the low survival of engrafted stem cells still remains a major challenge for stem cell therapy. As a major hormone from the pineal gland, melatonin has been shown to play an important role in regulating the physiological and pathological functions of stem cells such as promoting proliferation, migration and differentiation. Thus, melatonin combined with stem cell transplantation displayed promising application potential in neurodegenerative diseases, liver cirrhosis, wound healing, myocardial infarction, kidney ischemia injury, osteoporosis, etc. It exerts its physiological and pathological functions through its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptosis and anti-ageing properties. Here, we summarized recent advances on exploring the biological role of melatonin in stem cells, and discussed its potential applications in stem cell-based therapy.