This review concerns the current knowledge of melatonin and alcohol-related disorders. Chronobiological effects of ethanol are related to melatonin suppression and in relation to inflammation, stress, free radical scavenging, autophagy and cancer risk. It is postulated that both alcohol- and inflammation-induced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) alters cell membrane properties leading to tissue dysfunction and, subsequent further ROS production. Lysosomal enzymes are often used to assess the relationships between intensified inflammation states caused by alcohol abuse and oxidative stress as well as level of tissue damage estimated by the increased release of cellular enzymes into the extracellular space. Studies have established a link between alcoholism and desynchronosis (circadian disruption). Desynchronosis results from the disorganization of the body’s circadian time structure and is an aspect of the pathology of chronic alcohol intoxication. The inflammatory conditions and the activity of lysosomal enzymes in acute alcohol poisoning or chronic alcohol-dependent diseases are in most cases interrelated. Inflammation can increase the activity of lysosomal enzymes, which can be regarded as a marker of lysosomal dysfunction and abnormal cellular integrity. Studies show alcohol toxicity is modulated by the melatonin (Mel) circadian rhythm. This hormone, produced by the pineal gland, is the main regulator of 24 h (sleep-wake cycle) and seasonal biorhythms. Mel exhibits antioxidant properties and may be useful in the prevention of oxidative stress reactions known to be responsible for alcohol-related diseases. Naturally produced Mel and exogenous sources in food can act in free radical reactions and activate the endogenous defense system. Mel plays an important role in the normalization of the post-stress state by its influence on neurotransmitter systems and the synchronization of circadian rhythms. Acting simultaneously on the neuroendocrine and immune systems, Mel optimizes homeostasis and provides protection against stress.
Abbreviations: ROS, reactive oxygen species; Mel, melatonin; SRV, resveratrol; NF-κB, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells; ANT, arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase; EC cells, gastrointestinal enterochromaffin cells; MT1, melatonin high-affinity nanomolecular receptor site; MT2, melatonin low-affinity nanomolecular receptor site; ROR/RZR, orphan nuclear retinoid receptors; SOD, superoxide dismutase; CAT, catalase; GPx, glutathione peroxidase; GR, glutathione reductase; GSH, reduced form of glutathione; GSSG, oxidized form of glutathione; TAC, total antioxidant capacity; ONOO∙–, peroxynitrite radical; NCAM, neural cell adhesion molecules; LPO, lipid peroxidation; α-KG, α-ketoglutarate, HIF-1α, Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α, IL-2, interleukin-2; HPA axis, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; Tph1, tryptophan hydroxylase 1; AA-NAT, arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase; AS-MT, acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase; NAG, N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase; HBA1c glycated hemoglobin; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; AAP, alanyl-aminopeptidase; β-GR, β-glucuronidase; β-GD, β-galactosidase; LAP, leucine aminopeptidase.