Inverse correlation between endogenous melatonin levels and oxidative damage in some tissues of SAM P8 mice


Address reprint requests to Ana Coto-Montes, Department of Morphology and Cellular Biology, University of Oviedo, E-33006 Oviedo, Asturias, Spain.


Abstract:  To assess whether oxidative damage in some tissues was related to their melatonin concentration, endogenous melatonin levels and the age-linked protein and lipid damage in spleen, thymus and liver in 5-month-old SAM P8 mice were examined. The results show that high levels of melatonin in spleen and thymus correlate with lower protein and lipid damage. The liver, which had much lower melatonin concentrations than the other two tissues, had much higher levels of oxidatively damaged protein, as measured by carbonyl values. These results add new evidence concerning the protective role of endogenous melatonin as an antioxidant agent, and suggest that a treatment with this molecule might help to reduce age-associated functional deficits in many organs, including those of the immune system.