Possible application of melatonin treatment in human diseases of the biliary tract

Leonardo Baiocchi, Tianhao Zhou, Suthat Liangpunsakul, Lenci Ilaria, Martina Milana, Fanyin Meng, Lindsey Kennedy, Praveen Kusumanchi, Zhihong Yang, Ludovica Ceci, Shannon Glaser, Heather Francis, Gianfranco Alpini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Melatonin was discovered in 1958 by Aaron Lerner. Its name comes from the ability of melatonin to change the shape of amphibian melanophores from stellate to roundish. Starting from the 1980s, the role of melatonin in the regulation of mammalian circadian and seasonal clocks has been elucidated. Presently, several other effects have been identified in different organs. For example, the beneficial effects of melatonin in models of liver damage have been described. This review gives first a general background on experimental and clinical data on the use of melatonin in liver damage. The second part of the review focuses on the findings related to the role of melatonin in biliary functions, suggesting a possible use of melatonin therapy in human diseases of the biliary tree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G651-G660
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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