Gut microbiota in neurological diseases: Melatonin plays an important regulatory role

Biomed Pharmacother. 2024 May:174:116487. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2024.116487. Epub 2024 Mar 21.


Melatonin is a highly conserved molecule produced in the human pineal gland as a hormone. It is known for its essential biological effects, such as antioxidant activity, circadian rhythm regulator, and immunomodulatory effects. The gut is one of the primary known sources of melatonin. The gut microbiota helps produce melatonin from tryptophan, and melatonin has been shown to have a beneficial effect on gut barrier function and microbial population. Dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota is associated with bacterial imbalance and decreased beneficial microbial metabolites, including melatonin. In this way, low melatonin levels may be related to several human diseases. Melatonin has shown both preventive and therapeutic effects against various conditions, including neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. This review was aimed to discuss the role of melatonin in the body, and to describe the possible relationship between gut microbiota and melatonin production, as well as the potential therapeutic effects of melatonin on neurological diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Gut microbiota; Melatonin; Multiple sclerosis; Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Melatonin* / metabolism
  • Melatonin* / pharmacology
  • Nervous System Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Nervous System Diseases* / metabolism
  • Nervous System Diseases* / microbiology


  • Melatonin