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Melatonin May Be Served As Potential Anti-fibrotic Drug

Date:
April 7, 2009
Source:
World Journal of Gastroenterology
Summary:
A research group from China investigated the protective effects of melatonin on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic fibrosis in experimental rats. They found that melatonin could ameliorate carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats and the protective action of melatonin may relate to its antioxidant activities.

In China, the incidence of liver cirrhosis is still high. Liver cirrhosis results from fibrosis. If treated properly at fibrosis stage, cirrhosis can be prevented. However, no effective antifibrosis drugs are available at present. Several lines of evidences suggest that oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiopathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis.

Melatonin can protect cells, tissues, and organs against oxidative damage induced by a variety of free-radical-generating agents and processes.

A research team led by Professor Jian-Ming Xu from the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, China evaluated the possible fibrosuppressant effect of melatonin in rat.

In this study, hepatic fibrosis in rats was successfully induced by subcutaneous injection of sterile CCl4 twice weekly for a total of 12 wk. At the beginning of injection of CCl4, melatonin (2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg body weight) was intraperitoneally administered to the rats daily for 12 wk. Hepatic fibrotic changes were evaluated biochemically by measuring tissue hydroxyproline levels and histopathogical examination. The serum activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were used to evaluate the hepatic injury. Hepatic oxidative stress markers were evaluated by changes in the amount of lipid peroxides, measured as malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in liver homogenates. Serum hyaluronic acid (HA), laminin (LN), and procollagen 3 N-terminal peptide (P3NP) were determined as serum markers of hepatic fibrogenesis.

Their results suggested that treatment with melatonin (10 mg/kg) could decrease the scores of hepatic fibrosis grading, reduced the contents of HA, LN in serum and Hydroxyproline (HYP) in liver, treatment with melatonin (5,10 mg/kg ) could decrease serum levels of ALT, AST and blocked the increase in MDA in rats with hepatic injury caused by CCl4.

Their result indicated melatonin could ameliorate CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats. The protective effect of melatonin on hepatic fibrosis may be related to its antioxidant activities. This may provide a basis for further studies on the potentially protective effect of melatonin on liver function in cirrhotic patients


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Journal of Gastroenterology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hong et al. Melatonin ameliorates experimental hepatic fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride in rats. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2009; 15 (12): 1452 DOI: 10.3748/wjg.15.1452

Cite This Page:

World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Melatonin May Be Served As Potential Anti-fibrotic Drug." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330123210.htm>.
World Journal of Gastroenterology. (2009, April 7). Melatonin May Be Served As Potential Anti-fibrotic Drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330123210.htm
World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Melatonin May Be Served As Potential Anti-fibrotic Drug." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330123210.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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