This enzyme is also involved in other conditions as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in neurodegenerative conditions as Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
University of Granada researchers have tested melatonin analogues in rats as it inhibits the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is involved in the development of conditions as inflammatory bowel disease, septic shock or rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in neurodegenerative conditions as Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Some of the new analogues developed by the University of Granada have been tested in vivo in rats and present "very interesting pharmacological properties, as they are much more efficient than melatonin" in inhibiting NOS activity in Parkinson models. Most of the results obtained in this study have been published in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that inhibits the central nervous system in rats and humans. Therefore, it is said to have neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties. These properties give melatonin the ability to inhibit nitric oxide production, as NO is involved in numerous physiological and pathological processes. Therefore, it is necessary to regulate NO production. At present, researchers are trying to "develop powerful and selective inhibitors of each NOS isoform, which would allow clinicians to control specific pathologies, and would help determine the role of the different isoforms in the biological system".