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Aging and disease    2021, Vol. 12 Issue (1) : 297-307     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2020.0519
Review |
Melatonin: Effects on Cartilage Homeostasis and Therapeutic Prospects in Cartilage-related Diseases
Wen-qing Xie1,6, Song-feng Chen2, Xiao-hua Tao3, Li-yang Zhang4, Pei-wu Hu5, Wei-li Pan3, Yi-bin Fan3,*, Yu-sheng Li1,6,*
1Department of Orthopedics, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410000, China.
2Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450000, Henan, China.
3Department of Dermatology, Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, People’s Hospital of Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou 310000, China.
4Department of Neurosurgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410000, China.
5Department of Scientific Research, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410000, China.
6National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Disorders, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410000, China
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Cartilage is a relatively simple connective tissue that plays a variety of roles in the human body, including joint support and protection, load bearing of the intervertebral discs, joint lubrication, formation of the external structure of the ears and nose and support of the trachea. The maintenance of cartilage homeostasis is therefore crucial. Cartilage-related diseases are difficult to diagnose and treat because their molecular and pathological mechanisms are not fully understood. Melatonin, which has a wide range of physiological effects, is an endocrine hormone mainly secreted by the pineal gland. Its biological effects include its antioxidant, antiaging, analgesic, and hypnotic effects and its ability to stabilize the circadian rhythm. In recent years, research on cartilage homeostasis and melatonin has been increasing, and melatonin has gradually been used in the treatment of cartilage-related diseases. Therefore, this article will briefly review the role of melatonin in cartilage homeostasis, including its anti-inflammatory effects and effects in protecting cartilage from damage by other factors and promoting chondrocyte growth and the expression of cartilage-related genes. Based on the above, the current status and future developmental direction of melatonin in the treatment of cartilage-related diseases are also discussed, demonstrating the broad prospects of melatonin in maintaining cartilage homeostasis and treating cartilage injury-related diseases.

Keywords melatonin      cartilage      cartilage homeostasis      inflammation      cartilage-related genes      human mesenchymal stromal cells     
Corresponding Authors: Fan Yi-bin,Li Yu-sheng   
About author:

These authors equally contributed this work.

Just Accepted Date: 20 May 2020   Issue Date: 11 January 2021
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Xie Wen-qing
Chen Song-feng
Tao Xiao-hua
Zhang Li-yang
Hu Pei-wu
Pan Wei-li
Fan Yi-bin
Li Yu-sheng
Cite this article:   
Xie Wen-qing,Chen Song-feng,Tao Xiao-hua, et al. Melatonin: Effects on Cartilage Homeostasis and Therapeutic Prospects in Cartilage-related Diseases[J]. Aging and disease, 2021, 12(1): 297-307.
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Figure 1.  The melatonin signaling pathway in the occurrence and development of OA.
Cartilage-related diseaseFunction of melatoninReferences
OAReducing inflammation, maintaining metabolic balance and reducing apoptosis[67, 69, 77]
Maintaining the survival of MSCs and promoting their osteogenic differentiation[91]
Rotator cuff repairInhibiting macrophage infiltration at the tendon-bone interface and increasing the formation of cartilage regions[94]
Cartilage tissue engineeringHydrogels or hydrogel/microparticle systems,
cartilage regeneration
Table 1  The functions of melatonin in cartilage-related diseases.
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