Protective Effects of Melatonin on Neurogenesis Impairment in Neurological Disorders and Its Relevant Molecular Mechanisms

Joseph Wai Hin Leung, Kwok Kuen Cheung, Shirley P.C. Ngai, Wing Hong Hector Tsang (Corresponding Author), Wui Man Lau (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Neurogenesis is the process by which functional new neurons are generated from the neural stem cells (NSCs) or neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Increasing lines of evidence show that neurogenesis impairment is involved in different neurological illnesses, including mood disorders, neurogenerative diseases, and central nervous system (CNS) injuries. Since reversing neurogenesis impairment was found to improve neurological outcomes in the pathological conditions, it is speculated that modulating neurogenesis is a potential therapeutic strategy for neurological diseases. Among different modulators of neurogenesis, melatonin is a particularly interesting one. In traditional understanding, melatonin controls the circadian rhythm and sleep–wake cycle, although it is not directly involved in the proliferation and survival of neurons. In the last decade, it was reported that melatonin plays an important role in the regulation of neurogenesis, and thus it may be a potential treatment for neurogenesis-related disorders. The present review aims to summarize and discuss the recent findings regarding the protective effects of melatonin on the neurogenesis impairment in different neurological conditions. We also address the molecular mechanisms involved in the actions of melatonin in neurogenesis modulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5645
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020


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