Establishing the use of melatonin as an adjuvant therapeutic against paraquat- induced lung toxicity in rats

Ercan Göcgeldi, Bülent Uysal, Ahmet Korkmaz, Recai Ogur, Russel J. Reiter, Bülent Kurt, Sükrü Öter, Turgut Topal, Metin Hasde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


It is well known that the intake of paraquat (PQ) causes severe tissue injury leading to numerous fatalities. Considering that the main target for PQ toxicity is the lung and involves the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, transcription factors and inflammatory cytokines, it may be hypothesized that the combination of a potent antiinflammatory and antioxidant agent may counteract more of PQ's effects than an antiinflammatory agent alone. For this purpose, combination of dexamethasone (Dex) and melatonin (Mel) was compared with Dex alone. A total of 40 male Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups as control, PQ, Dex only, and Dex plus Mel. The animals were given intraperitoneally a toxic dose of 19 mg/kg PQ dissolved in 1 ml saline. Control animals were injected with the same amount of saline only. A dose of 1 mg/kg Dex was administered 2 hrs after PQ administration. In the combination treatment group, 20 mg/kg Mel was given with Dex. All drugs were given every 12 hrs for a total of six doses. Five animals in PQ group and three animals in Dex only group died by the end of the study. No deaths occurred in the Dex+Mel group. Dex exerted improvements in several oxidative and antioxidative parameters. However, combination treatment provided beneficial effects against PQ toxicity far greater than Dex alone. This difference was also apparent when tissues were histologically compared. In conclusion, Mel exhibited strong additive beneficial effects with Dex and can be considered as a safe treatment modality against PQ toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1141
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Dexamethasone
  • Lung damage
  • Melatonin
  • Nitrosative stress
  • Oxidative stress
  • Paraquat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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