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Protective effect of melatonin on 3-nitropropionic acid-induced oxidative stress in synaptosomes in an animal model of Huntington's disease


Address reprint requests to Pedro Montilla, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Cordoba University, Avda. Menéndez Pidal s/n, 14004, Córdoba, Spain.


Abstract:  The effect of melatonin (1 mg/kg BW i.p./day) on the oxidative changes produced by 3-nitropropionic acid (20 mg/kg BW/day for 4 days) in rat striatal and cortical synaptosomes was investigated. The effects of 3-nitropropionic acid were evaluated as changes in the quantity of lipid peroxidation products, protein carbonyl groups and superoxide dismutase and succinate dehydrogenase activities. 3-Nitropropionic acid caused a rise in lipid peroxidation levels and protein carbonyls content whereas it induced a reduction in the activity of succinate dehydrogenase and triggered an enhancement in superoxide dismutase activity. These changes were prevented by previous administration of melatonin. Our results reveal: (i) 3-nitropropionic acid induces a status of oxidative stress in some brain regions of the Wistar rat; (ii) melatonin prevents the deleterious effects induced by the acid. In conclusion, the results show the ability of melatonin to modify the neural response to 3-nitropropionic acid with the protective mechanism likely involving the antioxidative processes of melatonin.