Perspectives on the use of melatonin to reduce cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of methacrylate-based dental materials


Address reprint requests to Janusz Blasiak, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Lodz, Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz, Poland.


Abstract:  Melatonin (5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine), an indoleamine produced in the pineal gland and many other organs, displays a wide spectrum of protective effects against cell injury of various origins. Contemporary dental restorative materials mainly consist of methacrylate polymers with some additives. However, because of the incompleteness of polymerization process in situ as well as mechanical shearing and enzymatic degradation, methacrylate monomers are released from the restoration into the oral cavity and the pulp, from where they gain access to other tissues and organs. Such monomers have displayed toxic properties in many in vivo and in vitro studies, including cytotoxicity and genotoxicity and a considerable portion of these effects is underlined by the oxidative action of these compounds. As melatonin shows biocompatibility with the oral cavity and displays antioxidative properties, it may be considered as a protective agent against harmful effects of methacrylate monomers derived from dental restorations. Melatonin decreases cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of methacrylate monomers used in dentistry, and it does not influence the bond strength of dental composites. This opens a new possible application of melatonin to improve properties of biomaterials used in dentistry.