Interactions between melatonin and nicotinamide nucleotide: NADH preservation in cells and in cell-free systems by melatonin


Address reprint requests to Russel J. Reiter, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Mail Code 7762, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


Abstract:  Interactions of melatonin and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) have been studied in different experimental models including NADH-promoted oxyhemoglobin oxidation, vanadate-induced NADH oxidation and paraquat-induced NADH depletion in cultured PC12 cells. Our findings indicate that melatonin preserves NADH levels under oxidative stress both in cell-free systems and in cultured PC12 cells. These interactions likely involve electron donation by melatonin and reduction of the NAD radical. As a result, the NAD radical is recycled to NADH and melatonin is oxidized to N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AFMK). NADH is a central molecule at the crossroads between energy metabolism and the antioxidant defense system in organisms. Recycling of NADH by melatonin might improve the efficiency of NADH as an energy carrier and as an antioxidant. Interactions between melatonin and NADH may be implicated in mitochondrial metabolism.