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Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Apr;37(4):750-7.

Melatonin prevents oxidative stress resulting from iron and erythropoietin administration.

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Renal Service and Laboratory, Hospital Universitario de Maracaibo and Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Fundacite-Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela.


Intravenous iron (Fe) and recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) are routine treatments in the management of anemia in patients with chronic renal failure. We investigated the oxidative stress acutely induced by these therapies and whether pretreatment with oral melatonin (MEL) would have a beneficial effect. Nine patients (four women) were studied within 1 month of entering a chronic hemodialysis program in the interdialytic period. Plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), red blood cell glutathione (GSH), and catalase (CAT) activity were measured in blood samples obtained before (baseline) and 1, 3, and 24 hours after the administration of Fe (100 mg of Fe saccharate intravenously over 1 hour) or rHuEPO (4,000 U intravenously). One hour before these treatments, patients were administered a single oral dose of MEL (0.3 mg/kg) or placebo. Each patient was studied on four occasions, corresponding to studies performed using either placebo or MEL in association with intravenous Fe and rHuEPO administration. Baseline data showed increased oxidative stress in patients with end-stage renal failure. Increments in oxidative stress induced by Fe were more pronounced at the end of the administration: MDA, baseline, 0.74 +/- 0.09 nmol/mL; 1 hour, 1.50 +/- 0.28 nmol/mL (P: < 0.001); GSH, baseline, 2.51 +/- 0.34 nmol/mg of hemoglobin (Hb); 1 hour, 1.66 +/- 0.01 nmol/mg Hb (P: < 0.001); and CAT activity, baseline, 27.0 +/- 5.7 kappa/mg Hb; 1 hour, 23.3 +/- 4.2 kappa/mg Hb (P: < 0.001). rHuEPO-induced increments in oxidative stress were more pronounced (P: < 0.001) at 3 hours (MDA, 1.24 +/- 0.34 nmol/mL; GSH, 1.52 +/- 0.23 nmol/mg Hb; CAT activity, 18.0 +/- 3.1 kappa/mg Hb). MEL administration prevented the changes induced by Fe and rHuEPO and had no adverse side effects. These studies show that intravenous Fe and rHuEPO in doses commonly used to treat anemia in chronic hemodialysis patients acutely generate significant oxidative stress. Oral MEL prevents such oxidative stress and may be of clinical use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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