The role of melatonin on radiation-induced pneumonitis and lung fibrosis: A systematic review

Life Sci. 2021 Jun 16:119721. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119721. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Pneumonitis and lung fibrosis, as the most common compliances of lung irradiation, can affect the quality of life. The use of radio-protective agents can ameliorate these injuries. This study aimed to review the potential protective role of melatonin in the treatment of radiation-induced Pneumonitis and lung fibrosis.

METHODS: The current systematic study was conducted based on PRISMA guidelines to identify relevant literature on ” the effect of melatonin on radiation-induced pneumonitis and lung fibrosis” in the electronic databases of Web of Science, Embase, PubMed, and Scopus up to January 2021. Eighty-one articles were screened in accordance with the inclusion and exclusion criteria of the study. Finally, eight articles were included in this systematic review.

RESULTS: The finding showed that the lung irradiation-induced pneumonitis and lung fibrosis. The co-treatment with melatonin could alleviate these compliances through its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Melatonin through upregulation of some enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione, NADPH oxidases 2 and 4, dual oxidases 1 and 2, and also downregulation of malondialdehyde reduced oxidative stress following lung radiation. Moreover, melatonin through its anti-inflammatory effects, can attenuate the increased levels of nuclear factor kappa B, tumor necrosis factor alpha, transforming growth factor beta 1, SMAD2, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-4 receptor-a1 (IL4ra1), and IL-1 beta following lung radiation. The histological damages induced by ionizing radiation were also alleviated by co-treatment with melatonin.

CONCLUSION: According to the obtained results, it was found that melatonin can have anti-pneumonitis and anti-fibrotic following lung irradiation.

PMID:34146555 | DOI:10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119721