The role of melatonin in the onset and progression of type 3 diabetes

Juhyun Song, Daniel J. Whitcomb, Byeong C Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
317 Downloads (Pure)


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is defined by the excessive accumulation of toxic peptides, such as beta amyloid (Aβ) plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). The risk factors associated with AD include genetic mutations, aging, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress. To date, several studies that have demonstrated an association between AD and diabetes have revealed that the common risk factors include insulin resistance, sleep disturbances, blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption, and altered glucose homeostasis. Many researchers have discovered that there are mechanisms common to both diabetes and AD. AD that results from insulin resistance in the brain is termed "type 3 diabetes". Melatonin synthesized by the pineal gland is known to contribute to circadian rhythms, insulin resistance, protection of the BBB, and cell survival mechanisms. Here, we review the relationship between melatonin and type 3 diabetes, and suggest that melatonin might regulate the risk factors for type 3 diabetes. We suggest that melatonin is crucial for attenuating the onset of type 3 diabetes by intervening in Aβ accumulation, insulin resistance, glucose metabolism, and BBB permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Brain
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • Beta amyloid (Aβ)
  • Blood brain barrier (BBB)
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Insulin resistance
  • Melatonin
  • Type 3 diabetes


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