Regulation effects of melatonin on bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell differentiation

Biao Wang, Hao Wen, Wanli Smith, Dingjun Hao, Baorong He, Lingbo Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Melatonin’s therapeutic potential has been highly underestimated because its biological functional roles are diverse and relevant mechanisms are complicated. Among the numerous biological activities of melatonin, its regulatory effects on pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are found in bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) and adipose tissue (AD-MSC), have been recently proposed, which has received increasingly more attention in recent studies. Moreover, receptor-dependent and receptor-independent responses to melatonin are identified to occur in these cells by regulating signaling pathways, which drive the commitment and differentiation of MSCs into osteogenic, chondrogenic, or adipogenic lineages. Therefore, the aim of our current review is to summarize the evidence related to the utility of melatonin as a regulatory agent by focusing on its relationship with the differentiation of MSCs. In particular, we aimed to review its roles in promoting osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation and the relevant signaling cascades involved. Also, the roles that melatonin and, particularly, its receptors play in these processes are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1008-1015
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • BMSCs
  • melatonin
  • signaling pathways
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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