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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Dec 1;35(8):1944-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2011.09.005. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Melatonin improves 3-nitropropionic acid induced behavioral alterations and neurotrophic factors levels.

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  • 1Dpto. Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC)/Universidad de Córdoba, Spain.



This study sought to determine whether melatonin causes changes in neurotrophic factors and it protects against the mycotoxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) in brain tissue.


Rats were given 3-NP over four consecutive days (20 mg/kg BW), while melatonin was administered over 21 days (1 mg/kg/BW), starting after the last injection of 3-NP.


Rats treated with 3-NP displayed significant changes in neurotrophic factor (BDNF and GDNF) levels, together with alterations in behavior; they also displayed extensive oxidative stress and a massive neuronal damage.


Melatonin improved behavioral alterations, reduced oxidative damage, lowered neurotrophic factor levels and neuronal loss in 3-NP-treated rats. These results suggest that melatonin exerts a neuroprotective action.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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