Melatonin, its beneficial effects on embryogenesis from mitigating oxidative stress to regulating gene expression

Dmitry Ivanov, Gianluigi Mazzoccoli, George Anderson, Natalia Linkova, Anastasiia Dyatlova, Ekaterina Mironova, Victoria Polyakova, Igor Kvetnoy, Inna Evsyukova, Annalucia Carbone, Ruslan Nasyrov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Embryogenesis is a complex multi-stage process regulated by various signaling molecules including pineal and extrapineal melatonin (MT). Extrapineal MT is found in the placenta and ova-ries, where it carries out local hormonal regulation. MT is necessary for normal development of oocytes, fertilization and subsequent development of human, animal and avian embryos. This review discusses the role of MT as a regulator of preimplantation development of the embryo and its implantation into endometrial tissue, followed by histo-, morpho-and organogenesis. MT possesses pronounced antioxidant properties and helps to protect the embryo from oxidative stress by regulating the expression of the NFE2L2, SOD1, and GPX1 genes. MT activates the expression of the ErbB1, ErbB4, GJA1, POU5F1, and Nanog genes which are necessary for embryo implantation and blastocyst growth. MT induces the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its type 1 receptor (VEGF-R1) in the ovaries, activating angiogenesis. Given the increased difficulties in successful fertilization and embryogenesis with age, it is of note that MT slows down ovarian aging by increasing the transcription of sirtuins. MT administration to patients suffering from in-fertility demonstrates an increase in the effectiveness of in vitro fertilization. Thus, MT may be viewed as a key factor in embryogenesis regulation, including having utility in the management of infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5885
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Embryogenesis
  • Implantation
  • Melatonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Melatonin, its beneficial effects on embryogenesis from mitigating oxidative stress to regulating gene expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this