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J Pineal Res. 2009 Sep;47(2):156-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2009.00695.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22.

Melatonin provides neuroprotection by reducing oxidative stress and HSP70 expression during chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in ovariectomized rats.

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Department of Physiology, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, 67600, Kozlu, Zonguldak, Turkey.


Oxidative stress is believed to contribute to functional and histopathologic disturbances associated with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) in rats. Melatonin has protective effects against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. This effect has mainly been attributed to its antioxidant properties. In the present study, we evaluate the effects of melatonin on chronic cerebral hypoperfused rats and examined its possible influence on oxidative stress, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, and heat shock protein (HSP) 70 induction. CCH was induced by permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion in ovariectomized female rats. Extensive neuronal loss in the hippocampus at day 14 following CCH was observed. The ischemic changes were preceded by increases in malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration and HSP70 induction as well as reductions in GSH and SOD. Melatonin treatment restored the levels of MDA, SOD, GSH, and HSP70 induction as compared to the ischemic group. Histopathologic analysis confirmed the protective effect of melatonin against CCH-induced morphologic alterations. Taken together, our results document that melatonin provides neuroprotective effects in CCH by attenuating oxidative stress and stress protein expression in neurons. This suggests melatonin may be helpful for the treatment of vascular dementia and cerebrovascular insufficiency.

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