Melatonin Moderates the Triangle of Chronic Pain, Sleep Architecture and Immunometabolic Traffic
Preclinical as well as human studies indicate that melatonin is essential for a physiological sleep state, promotes analgesia and is involved in immunometabolic signaling by regulating neuroinflammatory pathways. Experimental and clinical neuromodulation studies for chronic pain treatment suggest that neurostimulation therapies such as spinal cord stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation and dorsal root ganglion stimulation have an impact on circulating inflammatory mediators in blood, cerebrospinal fluid and saliva. Herein, we provide an overview of current literature relevant for the shared pathways of sleep, pain and immunometabolism and elaborate the impact of melatonin on the crossroad of sleep, chronic pain and immunometabolism. Furthermore, we discuss the potential of melatonin as an adjunct to neurostimulation therapies. In this narrative review, we addressed these questions using the following search terms: melatonin, sleep, immunometabolism, obesity, chronic pain, neuromodulation, neurostimulation, neuroinflammation, molecular inflammatory phenotyping. So far, the majority of the published literature is derived from experimental studies and studies specifically assessing these relationships in context to neurostimulation are sparse. Thus, the adjunct potential of melatonin in clinical neurostimulation has not been evaluated under the umbrella of randomized-controlled trials and deserves increased attention as melatonin interacts and shares pathways relevant for noninvasive and invasive neurostimulation therapies.