Melatonin, the Hormone of Darkness: From Sleep Promotion to Ebola Treatment

Brain Disord Ther. 2014;4(1):1000151. doi: 10.4172/2168-975X.1000151.


Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the enigmatic pineal gland in response to darkness, hence the name hormone of darkness. It has generated a great deal of interest as a therapeutic modality for various diseases particularly sleep disorders. This pleiotropic molecule has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticoagulopathic properties in addition to its endothelial protective effects. In this article we discuss melatonin secretion and mechanisms of action as well as therapeutic rationale. We also highlight the potential utility of melatonin in the deadly modern-day Ebola epidemic.

Keywords: Ebola; Human; Jetlag; Melatonin; Pineal; Sleep.