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World J Ophthalmol. Nov 12, 2013; 3(4): 32-37
Published online Nov 12, 2013. doi: 10.5318/wjo.v3.i4.32
Melatonin and derivatives as promising tools for glaucoma treatment
Hanan Awad Alkozi, Jesús Pintor
Hanan Awad Alkozi, Jesús Pintor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology IV, Faculty of Optics and Optometry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28037 Madrid, Spain
Author contributions: Alkozi HA and Pintor J contributed equally to this work.
Supported by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, No. GR35/10-A-920777; the Ministry of Economy, No. SAF 2010/16024; the Institute Carlos III, No. RETICS RD12/0034/0003
Correspondence to: Jesús Pintor, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology IV, Faculty of Optics and Optometry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, c/Arcos de Jalón 118, E-28037 Madrid, Spain. jpintor@ucm.es
Telephone: +34-91-3946859 Fax: +34-91-3946885
Received: August 21, 2013
Revised: November 5, 2013
Accepted: November 10, 2013
Published online: November 12, 2013
Abstract

Neurohormones melatonin and its analogues are present with an important physiological and pharmacological ability to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP); thus, they are suitable for the treatment of ocular hypertension often associated with glaucoma. It is demonstrated that two of its analogues, 5-MCA-NAT and IIK7, are more effective than melatonin to reduce IOP for a longer period of time. The research for the discovery of better compounds resulted in the development of newer and improved analogues compared to 5-MCA-NAT and IIK7. Furthermore, already commercially available drugs currently used as treatment for other pathologies, presenting a resemblance to the melatonin structure, are being tested as potential glaucoma drugs. In this sense, agomelatine, which is already used as an anti-depressant medicine, is recognized as a worthy candidate since it reduces IOP, even under hypertensive conditions. To sum up, the use of melatonin and its analogues as promising anti-glaucomatous substances is of great importance and should be given serious consideration.

Keywords: 5-MCA-NAT, IIK7, Glaucoma, Ocular hypertension, Melatonin

Core tip: This mini review depicts the main features of melatonin and derivatives as interesting agents for the treatment of the ocular hypertension associated with glaucoma.