Melatonin improves mitochondrial dynamics and function in the kidney of zücker diabetic fatty rats

Ahmad Agil, Meriem Chayah, Lucia Visiedo, Miguel Navarro-Alarcon, José Manuel Rodríguez Ferrer, Mohamed Tassi, Russel J. Reiter, Gumersindo Fernández-Vázquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Obesity and associated diabetes (diabesity) impair kidney mitochondrial dynamics by augmenting fission and diminishing fusion, which results in mitochondrial and renal dysfunction. Based on available evidence, the antioxidant activities of melatonin may improve impaired renal mitochondrial function in obese diabetic animals by restoring the imbalanced dynamics through inhibiting fission and promoting fusion. Male Zücker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats and lean littermates (ZL) were orally treated either with melatonin (10 mg/kg BW/day) (M-ZDF and M-ZL) or vehicle (C-ZDF and C-ZL) for 17 weeks. Kidney function was evaluated by measurement of total urine volume, proteinuria, creatinine clearance, and assessment of kidney mitochondrial dynamics and function. C-ZDF exhibited impaired dynamics and function of kidney mitochondria in comparison to C-ZL. Melatonin improved nephropathy of ZDF rats and modulated their mitochondrial dynamics by reducing expression of Drp1 fission marker and increasing that of fusion markers, Mfn2 and Opa1. Furthermore, melatonin ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction by increasing respiratory control index and electron transfer chain complex IV activity. In addition, it lowered mitochondrial oxidative status. Our findings show that melatonin supplementation improves nephropathy likely via modulation of the mitochondrial fission/fusion balance and function in ZDF rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2916
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Diabetes
  • Drp1
  • Fission/fusion
  • Melatonin
  • Mfn2
  • Mitochondrial function/dynamic
  • Nephropathy
  • Obesity
  • Opa1
  • ZDF rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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