Melatonin is not only synthesized by the pineal gland but by several ocular structures. This natural indoleamine is of great importance for regulating several eye processes, among which pressure homeostasis is included. Glaucoma, the most prevalent eye disease, also known as the silent thief of vision, is a multifactorial pathology that is associated to age and, often, to intraocular hypertension (IOP). Indeed IOP is the only modifiable risk factor and as such medications are available to control it; however, novel medications are sought to minimize undesirable side effects. Melatonin and analogues decrease IOP in both normotensive and hypertensive eyes. Melatonin activates its cognate membrane receptors, MT1 and MT2, which are present in numerous ocular tissues, including the aqueous-humor-producing ciliary processes. Melatonin receptors belong to the superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors and their activation would lead to different signalling pathways depending on the tissue. This review describes the molecular mechanisms underlying differential functionalities that are attributed to melatonin receptors. Accordingly, the current work highlights the important role of melatonin and its analogues in the healthy and in the glaucomatous eyes, with special attention to the control of intraocular pressure.


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