European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, vol.16, no.7, pp.860-866, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
BACKGROUND, It is generally agreed that physiological levels of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, are important in protecting against oxidative stress-induced tissue damage. AIM, We investigated the effects that pinealectomy and the administration of exogenous melatonin have on the brains, testes, duodena and stomachs of rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS, Pinealectomized (Px) and sham-operated (non-Px) rats were used.We evaluated structural changes, and catalase (CAT), reduced glutathione (GSH), super oxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. The rats were divided into the following five groups (eight rats in each group): sham (non-Px), Px+ vehicle, Px+ melatonin (10 mg/kg given daily intraperitoneally for a week), melatonin and ethyl alcohol. RESULTS, The antioxidant levels in the tissue of Px rats were significantly lower than in those of the sham group. Administering melatonin significantly increased antioxidant levels (p < 0.05). The Px rats also showed a significant increase in MDA levels when compared to the sham group, and administering melatonin to the Px rats significantly reduced their MDA levels (p < 0.05). The severity of caspase-3 staining was lower in the Px+ melatonin group than in the Px+vehicle group. CONCLUSIONS, These findings suggest that significantly more oxidative and structural changes occur in rats' brains, spinal cords and testes after pinealectomy, but that this can be diminished by melatonin treatment. However, Px does not have important effects on the duodenum and stomach.