Melatonin as a potential antihypertensive treatment
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2007
Journal of Pineal Research
Volume 42, Issue 4, pages 319–322, May 2007
How to Cite
Simko, F. and Paulis, L. (2007), Melatonin as a potential antihypertensive treatment. Journal of Pineal Research, 42: 319–322. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2007.00436.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2007
- Received December 22, 2006; accepted February 9, 2007.
- autonomic nervous system;
- circadian rhythm;
Abstract: The number of patients with well-controlled hypertension is alarmingly low worldwide and new approaches to treatment of increased blood pressure (BP) are being sought. Melatonin has a role in blood pressure regulation. The nighttime production of melatonin is found to be reduced in hypertensive individuals. Administration of melatonin decreased BP in several animal models of hypertension, in healthy men and women, and in patients with arterial hypertension. Most promising results were achieved in patients with non-dipping nighttime pressure, in which the circadian rhythm of BP variation is disturbed. Several potential mechanisms of BP reduction are considered. Melatonin can, via its scavenging and antioxidant nature, improve endothelial function with increased availability of nitric oxide exerting vasodilatory and hypotensive effects. Melatonin seems to interfere with peripheral and central autonomic system, with a subsequent decrease in the tone of the adrenergic system and an increase of the cholinergic system. Melatonin may act on BP also via specific melatonin receptors localized in peripheral vessels or in parts of central nervous system participating in BP control. With a large clinical trial using melatonin in hypertension treatment, many important questions could be answered, such as the dose of melatonin and regimen of its application, the choice of patients with greatest possible benefit from melatonin treatment, the potential of anti-remodeling effect of melatonin and the interaction of melatonin with other antihypertensive drugs.