Melatonin in the skin: synthesis, metabolism and functions.

Andrzej Slominski, Desmond J. Tobin, Michal A. Zmijewski, Jacobo Wortsman, Ralf Paus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

182 Scopus citations

Abstract

Melatonin, a ubiquitous methoxyindole, is produced by and metabolized in the skin. Melatonin affects skin functions and structures through actions mediated by cell-surface and putative-nuclear receptors expressed in skin cells. Melatonin has both receptor-dependent and receptor-independent effects that protect against oxidative stress and can attenuate ultraviolet radiation-induced damage. The widespread expression and pleiotropic activity of the cutaneous melatoninergic system provides for a high level of cell-specific selectivity. Moreover, intra-, auto- and para-crine mechanisms equip this system with exquisite functional selectivity. The properties of endogenous melatonin suggest that this molecule is an important effector of stress responses in the skin. In this way, melatonin actions may counteract or buffer both environmental and endogenous stressors to maintain skin integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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