Melatonin and circadian biology in human cardiovascular disease
Article first published online: 1 JUN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Journal of Pineal Research
Volume 49, Issue 1, pages 14–22, August 2010
How to Cite
Dominguez-Rodriguez, A., Abreu-Gonzalez, P., Sanchez-Sanchez, J. J., Kaski, J. C. and Reiter, R. J. (2010), Melatonin and circadian biology in human cardiovascular disease. Journal of Pineal Research, 49: 14–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2010.00773.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 1 JUN 2010
- Received March 2, 2010; accepted March 18, 2010.
- cardiovascular disease;
- cardiovascular system;
- circadian rhythm;
Abstract: Diurnal rhythms influence cardiovascular physiology, i.e. heart rate and blood pressure, and they appear to also modulate the incidence of serious adverse cardiac events. Diurnal variations occur also at the molecular level including changes in gene expression in the heart and blood vessels. Moreover, the risk/benefit ratio of some therapeutic strategies and the concentration of circulating cardiovascular system biomarkers may also vary across the 24-hr light/dark cycle. Synchrony between external and internal diurnal rhythms and harmony among molecular rhythms within the cell are essential for normal organ biology. Diurnal variations in the responsiveness of the cardiovascular system to environmental stimuli are mediated by a complex interplay between extracellular (i.e. neurohumoral factors) and intracellular (i.e. specific genes that are differentially light/dark regulated) mechanisms. Neurohormones, which are particularly relevant to the cardiovascular system, such as melatonin, exhibit a diurnal variation and may play a role in the synchronization of molecular circadian clocks in the peripheral tissue and the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Moreover, mounting evidence reveals that the blood melatonin rhythm has a crucial role in several cardiovascular functions, including daily variations in blood pressure. Melatonin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chronobiotic and, possibly, epigenetic regulatory functions. This article reviews current knowledge related to the biological role of melatonin and its circadian rhythm in cardiovascular disease.