First evidence of the protective role of melatonin in counteracting cadmium toxicity in the rat ovary via the mTOR pathway

Safa Kechiche, Massimo Venditti, Latifa Knani, Karolina Jabłońska, Piotr Dzięgiel, Imed Messaoudi, Russel J. Reiter, Sergio Minucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Herein, the first evidence of the ability of melatonin (MLT) to counteract cadmium (Cd) toxic effects on the rat ovary is reported. Cd treatment, enhancing oxidative stress, provoked clear morphological, histological and biomolecular alterations, i.e. in the estrous cycle duration, in the ovarian and serum E2 concentration other than in the steroidogenic and folliculogenic genes expression. Results demonstrated that the use of MLT, in combination with Cd, avoided the changes, strongly suggesting that it is an efficient antioxidant for preventing oxidative stress in the rat ovary. Moreover, to explore the underlying mechanism involved, at molecular level, in the effects of Cd-MLT interaction, the study focused on the mTOR and ERK1/2 pathways. Interestingly, data showed that Cd influenced the phosphorylation status of mTOR, of its downstream effectors and of ERK1/2, inducing autophagy and apoptosis, while cotreatment with MLT nullified these changes. This work highlights the beneficial role exerted by MLT in preventing Cd-induced toxicity in the rat ovary, encouraging further studies to confirm its action on human ovarian health with the aim to use this indolamine to ameliorate oocyte quality in women with fertility disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116056
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume270
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • Cadmium toxicity
  • Endocrine disruptor
  • Melatonin
  • Oxidative stress
  • mTOR pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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