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Review
. 2020 Jan 24;9(2):288.
doi: 10.3390/cells9020288.

Impact of Melatonin on Skeletal Muscle and Exercise

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Free PMC article
Review

Impact of Melatonin on Skeletal Muscle and Exercise

Alessandra Stacchiotti et al. Cells. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Skeletal muscle disorders are dramatically increasing with human aging with enormous sanitary costs and impact on the quality of life. Preventive and therapeutic tools to limit onset and progression of muscle frailty include nutrition and physical training. Melatonin, the indole produced at nighttime in pineal and extra-pineal sites in mammalians, has recognized anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. Mitochondria are the favorite target of melatonin, which maintains them efficiently, scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative damage. Here, we discuss the most recent evidence of dietary melatonin efficacy in age-related skeletal muscle disorders in cellular, preclinical, and clinical studies. Furthermore, we analyze the emerging impact of melatonin on physical activity. Finally, we consider the newest evidence of the gut-muscle axis and the influence of exercise and probably melatonin on the microbiota. In our opinion, this review reinforces the relevance of melatonin as a safe nutraceutical that limits skeletal muscle frailty and prolongs physical performance.

Keywords: aging; fibromyalgia; melatonin; mitochondria; mitophagy; physical training; rodents; sarcopenia.

Conflict of interest statement

“The authors declare no conflict of interest.”

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Scheme illustrating improvement (+/ in green) and block (−/ in red) of mitochondrial or muscular events induced by dietary melatonin in aged or damaged skeletal muscle.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Scheme representation of proposal pathways regulated by melatonin in skeletal muscle. Notably, melatonin mechanisms of action involved mitochondria signaling. CAT: catalase; IL-6: interleukin-6; IGF1: insulin-like growth factor-1; LC3I/LC3II: microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 free in the cytosol or conjugated to phosphotidylethanolamine during autophagy; NMJ: neuromuscular junction; NRF1 and NRF2: nuclear respiratory factor 1 and 2; PGC-1α: peroxisome proliferative activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SIRT1: sirtuin1; SOD: superoxide dismutase; TFAM: mitochondrial transcription factor; TNFα: tumor necrosis factor alpha.

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