Konrad Kleszczyński, Andrzej T Slominski, Kerstin Steinbrink, Russel J Reiter

PMID: 32847033 PMCID: PMC7551551 DOI: 10.3390/nu12092561


The recent pandemic of COVID-19 has already infected millions of individuals and has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands worldwide. Based on clinical features, pathology, and the pathogenesis of respiratory disorders induced by this and other highly homogenous coronaviruses, the evidence suggests that excessive inflammation, oxidation, and an exaggerated immune response contribute to COVID-19 pathology; these are caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This leads to a cytokine storm and subsequent progression triggering acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and often death. We and others have reported melatonin to be an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative molecule with a high safety profile. It is effective in critical care patients by reducing their vascular permeability and anxiety, inducing sedation, and improving their quality of sleep. As melatonin shows no harmful adverse effects in humans, it is imperative to introduce this indoleamine into clinical trials where it might be beneficial for better clinical outcomes as an adjuvant treatment of COVID-19-infected patients. Herein, we strongly encourage health care professionals to test the potential of melatonin for targeting the COVID-19 pandemic. This is urgent, since there is no reliable treatment for this devastating disease.

Keywords: immune response; inflammation; melatonin