Melatonin modulates the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins in liver after thermal injury in rats


Melatonin, the principal secretory product of the pineal gland, functions as a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger. Additionally, the antiapoptotic effect of melatonin has been observed both in vivo and in vitro. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of melatonin against burn-induced injury in rat liver and whether these changes were associated with oxidative stress and changes in the expression of apoptosis related genes Bcl-2 and Bax. Melatonin (10 mg/kg, i.p.) was applied immediately after 30% of total body surface area (TBSA) burns of male Wistar rats. Malondialdehyde (MDA) as marker of oxidative stress and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) as inflammatory marker were assayed by biochemical methods. The hepatic apoptosis related genes Bcl-2 and Bax using light immunоchistochemistry were investigated, too. Hepatic TNF-α and MDA levels were increased significantly following severe burn. Thermal trauma increased the Bax expression without any changes of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein in sinusoidal endothelial cells (SECs) of burn-treated animals compared with the control group animals as well as elevated ratio Bax/Bcl-2 suggesting the susceptibility of these cells to apoptosis. Melatonin significantly decreased the MDA and TNF-α levels in the liver tissue. It decreased also expression of Bax, increased expression of Bcl-2 and reduced Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. In conclusion, experimental data show that melatonin modulates the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins by increasing anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, inhibits apoptosis and restricts the burn-induced damage.

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Bekyarova, G. , Tzaneva, M. and Hristova, M. (2013) Melatonin modulates the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins in liver after thermal injury in rats. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 41-47. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.411A2006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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