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Neuroprotection by Melatonin on Mercury Induced Toxicity in the Rat Brain

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2011.24049    4,630 Downloads   10,075 Views   Citations


Free radicals are common outcome of normal aerobic cellular metabolism. In-built antioxidant system of body plays its decisive role in prevention of any loss due to free radicals. However, imbalanced defense mechanism of antioxidants and overproduction or incorporation of free radicals from environment to living systems leads to serious damage. It also attacks nervous system resulting in neural-degeneration. In order to evaluate the neurotoxic effect on the brain parts of mercury in our study, oxidative stress indices of enzymatic and non enzymatic components were measured in rats intoxicated with mercury (2 mg and 4 mg/kg body weight) for 60 days to adult rats. Along with gravimetry, tissue burden was also recorded. Alterations in these indices were further supported by ultrastructural studies carried out in the brain as indicated by myelin disintegration, cell organelle alterations and neuronal loss by mercury poisoning. Treatment with the antioxidant melatonin (N-acetyl 5-methoxy tryptamine, 5 mg/kg) prevented mercury exerted toxicity due to its antioxidant property. The pathological changes were also ameliorated in the brain region comparatively to support biochemical profile of brain. Thus, melatonin produced neuroprotection against mercury poisoning in rats.

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M. Rao and A. Purohit, "Neuroprotection by Melatonin on Mercury Induced Toxicity in the Rat Brain," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2011, pp. 375-385. doi: 10.4236/pp.2011.24049.


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