Zymosan, a non-bacterial agent, causes inflammation by inducing the production of a variety of cytokines and pro-inflammatory mediators, wherein reactive oxygen species including nitric oxide and peroxynitrite are known to play a crucial role in the inflammatory process. The current study was designed to investigate the protective effect of melatonin, a radical scavenger and antioxidant, on non-septic shock induced by zymosan in the rat. Four groups of rats (controls, melatonin-injected [5 mg/kg × 6], zymosan-injected [500 mg/kg], and zymosan + melatonin) were used in this experiment. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (malondialdehyde [MDA] + 4-hydroxyalkenals [4-HDA]), as an index of lipid peroxidation, were measured in the liver, lung, small intestine (ileum), kidney and pancreas. Twenty-four hours after zymosan administration, MDA + 4-HDA levels were significantly increased in the liver, lung, small intestine, and kidney while the increase in the pancreas was not statistically significant compared to levels in control rats. The percentage increases in lipid peroxidation products were 34.3%, 39.2%, 48.5%, 32.5%, and 17.4% for the liver, lung, small intestine, kidney, and pancreas, respectively. In animals given melatonin 30 minutes before zymosan, and 5 more times after zymosan (i.e., every 4 hours), the increase in MDA + 4-HDA levels was reduced in all organs studied. There was also a significant increase in the volume of peritoneal exudate in zymosan-treated rats that was reduced when the zymosan-shocked rats received melatonin. After zymosan administration, immunohistochemical and histological examination demonstrated a marked increase in the immunoreactivity to nitrotyrosine, a specific "footprint" of peroxynitrite, and tissue damage in the liver, lung, and small intestine of zymosan-shocked rats. Again, melatonin treatment reduced both nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity and tissue damage associated with zymosan administration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine