Numerous recent studies have shown the ability of physiological as well as all pharmacological concentrations of melatonin to prevent oxidative stress. We have found that incubating avian heterophils from young birds with a pharmacological concentration of 100μM (23 × 106pg/ml) melatonin reduced superoxide anion levels by modulating the activity of superoxide dismutase while also enhancing phagocytosis. There was also a decline in lipid peroxidation levels with both physiological and pharmacological concentrations of this indolamine. In the present work, we evaluated malonaldehyde (MDA) levels as an indicator of lipid peroxidation (both basal and antigen-induced) in young and old animals (ring doves) at different times of day (16:00 and 00:00) and with two incubation times (15 and 60 min). The lipid peroxidation was also measured in heterophils from old animals, incubated with the physiological concentrations of melatonin measured in young animals (50 and 300 pg/ml, diurnal and nocturnal, respectively). The results, expressed as nmol MDA/mg protein, show that MDA levels were higher in heterophils of old animals than in the young birds in all the experimental groups studied at both 16:00 and 00:00 (00:00 is the time at which the lowest peroxidation levels were obtained). Incubation with melatonin was found to reduce MDA levels, with the maximum reduction being after the 60 min incubation time and the nocturnal melatonin concentration. At both concentrations (diurnal and nocturnal), melatonin also counteracted the enhancement of MDA levels caused by latex beads, with the effect being greater at the longer incubation time. In conclusion, the results are further evidence of the antioxidant effect of melatonin even at physiological concentrations, and suggest its utility as a therapeutic agent in some pathological processes associated with age.
- Lipid peroxidation
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