|1: Hautarzt. 1999 Jan;50(1):5-11.
[Melatonin in dermatology. Experimental and clinical
[Article in German]
Fischer T, Wigger-Alberti W, Elsner P.
Klinik fur Hautkrankheiten, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena.
Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a hormone with multiple functions
in humans, produced by the pineal gland and stimulated by beta-adrenergic
receptors. Serum melatonin levels exhibit a circadian rhythm with low levels
during the day, rise in the evening and maximum levels at night between 2 and
4 a.m. Melatonin participates in the regulation of several physiological
processes such as seasonal biological rhythm, daily sleep induction, aging and
modulation of immunobiological defence reactions. Furthermore, melatonin has a
highly lipophilic molecular structure facilitating penetration of cell
membranes and serving as an extra- and intracellular free radical scavenger.
Melatonin seems to quench mainly hydroxyl radicals, the most damaging of all
free radicals. Melatonin may play a role in the etiology and treatment of
several dermatoses e.g. atopic eczema, psoriasis and malignant melanoma. The
influence of melatonin on hair growth is another aspect. Topical application
of melatonin inhibits the development of UV-erythema. Penetration through skin
after topical application and oral bioavailability auxit further
investigations on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic actions of melatonin.
PMID: 10068925 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]