Melatonin prevents free radical formation due to the interaction between β-amyloid peptides and metal ions [Al(III), Zn(II), Cu(II), Mn(II), Fe(II)]


Address reprint requests to Paolo Zatta, CNR-Institute for Biomedical Technologies, Padova Unit ‘Metalloproteins’, Department of Biology, University of Padova, Viale G. Colombo 3, 35121 Padova, Italy. E-mail:


Abstract: Alzheimer's disease, among other pathological features, is characterized by an over-accumulation of amyloid-β peptide, metal ions, and oxidative stress proteins in the brain. Amyloid-β aggregated peptides with bound metal ions may initiate free radical generation with consequent protein and lipid oxidation, reactive oxygen species formation and eventually neuronal death. Melatonin is able to dramatically reduce the free radical formation which follows the interaction between transition metal ions and amyloid-β. This paper reports the scavenging effect of melatonin of reactants generated by amyloid peptides in combination with some metal ions.