Melatonin Ameliorates Neuropharmacological and Neurobiochemical Alterations Induced by Subchronic Exposure to Arsenic in Wistar Rats

  • Prasada Ningappa Durappanavar
  • Prakash NadoorEmail author
  • Prashantkumar Waghe
  • B. H. Pavithra
  • G. M. Jayaramu


An experimental study was conducted in Wistar rats to characterize the arsenic (“As”)-induced alterations in neurobiochemistry in brain and its impact on neuropharmacological activities with or without the melatonin (MLT) as an antioxidant given exogenously. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided in to four groups of six each. Group I served as untreated control, while group II received As [sodium (meta) arsenite; NaAsO2] at 10 mg/kg bw (p.o.) for a period of 56 days. Experimental rats in group III received treatment similar to group II but in addition received MLT at 10 mg/kg bw (p.o.) from day 32 onwards. Rats in group IV received MLT alone from day 32 onwards similar to group III. Sub-chronic exposure to As (group II) significantly reduced both voluntary locomotor and forced motor activities and melatonin supplementation (group III) showed a significant improvement in motor activities, when subjected to test on day 42 or 56. Rats exposed to As showed a significant increase in anxiety level and a marginal nonsignificant reduction in pain latency. Sub-chronic administration of As induced (group II) significant increase in the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) called malondialdehyde (MDA) in the brain tissue (5.55 ± 0.57 nmol g−1), and their levels were significantly reduced by MLT supplementation (group III 3.96 ± 0.15 nmol g−1). The increase in 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) levels in As-exposed rats indicated nitrosative stress due to the formation of peroxynitrite (ONOO). However, exogenously given MLT significantly reduced the 3-NT formation as well as prostaglandin (PGE2) levels in the brain. Similarly, MLT administration have suppressed the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (viz., IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) and amyloid-β1–40 (Aβ) deposition in the brain tissues of experimental rats. To conclude, exogenous administration of melatonin can overcome the sub-chronic As-induced oxidative and nitrosative stress in the CNS, suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokines, and restored certain disturbed neuropharmacological activities in Wistar rats.


Arsenic (As) Neuropharmacology Melatonin Oxidative stress Wistar rats 



The authors are thankful to the Dean, Veterinary College, Shivamogga 577 204, Karnataka, India, for necessary facilities to conduct the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Prior approval of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee (IAEC) was obtained, vide No. VCS/IAEC/005/2015-16 dated 23.07.2016 to carry out the current investigation as per the guidelines of the Committee for Prevention of Cruelty and Supervision of Experiment on Animals (CPCSEA), New Delhi.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology; Karnataka VeterinaryAnimal and Fisheries Sciences University; Veterinary CollegeShivamoggaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology; Karnataka VeterinaryAnimal and Fisheries Sciences University, Veterinary College, Veterinary CollegeBengaluruIndia
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology Veterinary CollegeBidarIndia
  4. 4.Department of Veterinary Pathology, Karnataka VeterinaryAnimal and Fisheries Sciences University, Veterinary CollegeShivamoggaIndia

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