Melatonin System for Regulating Immune Response Following Trauma (e.g., Injury, Stress, Transplantation)

This invention is a method of stimulating post-trauma immune response in warm-blooded animals, including humans. This method employs exogenous melatonin to moderate cytokine production in response to injury and to promote cellular response that enhances resistance to infection and healing.
White blood cells produce cytokines, chemical messengers that stimulate or inhibit immune-system activity. Following trauma, the body releases interleukin-6 (IL), a pro-inflammatory cytokine family; and interferon (IFN), a cytokine family that interferes with cell growth and viral replication and dissemination. To manage excess inflammation, this invention outlines a therapy with specific doses and timing of exogenous melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytrypamine), a hormone that affects neural and secretory functions.

The potential practical applications of this use of melatonin are in the administration of melatonin to individuals following stress, injury and surgery to augment and regulate optimal immune response for resistance to infection, while minimizing immune mediated pathologic consequences.

Stage of Development
U.S. patent #5,519,047 has been issued for this invention. The invention is available for further developmental research and licensing under exclusive or non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info
Miller SC, Bowman BM, Siska CC, and Shelby J. Effects of thermal injury on skeletal metabolism in two strains of mice. Calcified Tissue International 71(5):429-36 (2002).

Inventor(s): H. Clarke Nielson, Jane Shelby

Type of Offer: Licensing

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