Abstract: We have investigated the action of melatonin against lipid peroxidation in membranes including brain homogenates (BH), brain and liver microsomes (MIC), and phosphatidylcholine (PC) liposomes, as well as its effect on the activity of pro-oxidant enzymes such as constitutive neuronal nitric oxide synthase (cnNOS), xanthine oxidase (XO) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). The liposomes were reconstituted by a dialysis method, lipid peroxidation was monitored using the thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS) method and enzyme activities were measured spectrophotometrically. The ascorbyl and hydroxyl free radicals were generated by the reaction of ascorbic acid + FeSO4 and H2O2 + FeCl2, respectively, and peroxynitrite using a mixture of NaNO2 in an alkaline medium. Melatonin protected against lipid peroxidation induced by distinct reactive oxygen species (ROS) in all membranes tested although with different potency, in the following order BH < MIC < PC. The K0.5 for enzyme inhibition by melatonin was determined for nNOS (2.0 ± 0.1 mm), for XO (0.8 ± 0.1 mm) and for MPO (0.063 ± 0.003 mm), the latter one with high affinity. Melatonin showed a weak effect as a nitrogen monoxide (NO) scavenger in the presence of sodium nitroprusside (NO donor) and low reactivity with 1,1–diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH). These results demonstrate the antioxidant action of melatonin, principally that related to the activity of pro-oxidant enzymes such as XO and MPO.