• melatonin;
  • neuroprotection;
  • protein phosphatase 2A subunit B

Abstract:  Melatonin is an antioxidant that has neuroprotective functions in ischemic brain injury. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a serine and threonine phosphatase that modulates cell metabolism and cell survival. This study investigated whether melatonin modulates PP2A subunit B in focal cerebral ischemia and glutamate toxicity-induced neuronal cell death in a rat model. Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was performed to induce permanent cerebral ischemic injury. Adult male rats were treated with vehicle or melatonin (5 mg/kg) prior to MCAO, and cerebral cortex tissues were collected 24 hr after MCAO. A proteomic approach elucidated the decrease in PP2A subunit B in MCAO-operated animals. Melatonin treatment attenuated injury-induced reductions in PP2A subunit B levels. Western blot analyses indicated that melatonin prevents injury-induced decrease in PP2A subunit B levels. In neuronal cells, glutamate toxicity induced a lowering of PP2A subunit B, while melatonin treatment attenuated the glutamate exposure-induced decreases in PP2A subunit B. These results suggest that the maintenance of PP2A subunit B by melatonin in ischemic injury is critical to the neuroprotective function of melatonin during neuronal cell damage.