Melatonin produced by the pineal gland suppresses inflammatory responses in innate immune cells. However, the mechanism of how melatonin affects inflammatory gene regulation remains unclear. Here we performed comprehensive microarray analysis combined with transcription factor binding site (TFBS) analysis using LPS-induced mouse macrophages to investigate the effect of melatonin treatment. The results showed that melatonin preferentially downregulated interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) related signaling. The results also showed that melatonin strongly suppressed virus infection related gene expression. Furthermore, TFBS analysis implicated that melatonin downregulated the binding activity of hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs), following destabilizing actin cytoskeleton which are indispensable for induction of the TRIF-dependent signaling pathway. Indeed, it was demonstrated that melatonin treatment caused impaired phagocytosis in macrophages. Thus, melatonin regulates inflammatory responses by inhibiting specific subsets of transcription factors (TFs) by disrupting actin dynamics in the macrophage.
Kadena, M., Kumagai, Y., Vandenbon, A., Matsushima, H., Fukamachi, H., Maruta, N., … Kuwata, H. (2017). Microarray and gene co-expression analysis reveals that melatonin attenuates immune responses and modulates actin rearrangement in macrophages. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 485(2), 414–420. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.02.063