Melatonin reduces oxidative damage of neural lipids and proteins in senescence-accelerated mouse

Yuji Okatani, Akihiko Wakatsuki, Russel J. Reiter, Yasuyo Miyahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


We investigated whether long-term melatonin administration in the drinking water influences oxidative modification of lipids and proteins and antioxidative enzyme activity in brain of senescence-accelerated mice (SAM). Cerebral cortex was obtained in the middle of the dark period of the daily light cycle from SAMP8, a strain of mice prone to accelerated senescence, and from SAMR1, a senescence-resistant strain, at 3, 6, and 12 months of age. Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and protein carbonyls exhibited significant age-related increases in both strains. Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity decreased significantly at 12 months of age in SAMP8. No age effect was found in GPx activity in SAMR1, or in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in either strain. Melatonin administration (2 μg/mL) via the drinking fluid beginning at 7 months significantly decreased neural TBARS content (over 30%) in both strains and lowered the protein carbonyl content in the brain of SAMP8 mice. Furthermore, melatonin significantly augmented GPx activity (over 20%) in both strains. Melatonin had no effect on SOD activity. These results suggest an age-related increase in cerebral tissue vulnerability to oxidation in SAM that can be modified by melatonin, most likely through the ability of melatonin to scavenge oxygen free radicals and to stimulate antioxidant enzyme activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-644
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Antioxidants
  • Brain
  • Free radicals
  • Melatonin
  • Senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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