Effects of placing micro-implants of melatonin in striatum on oxidative stress and neuronal damage mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors

  • Hwa-Jung Kim
  • Jin Suk Kwon
Research Articles Pharmacology & Toxicology


Overstimulation of both kainate (KA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been reported to induce excitatoxicity which can be characterized by neuronal damage and formation of reactive oxygen free radicals. Neuroprotective effect of melatonin against KA-induced excitotoxicity have been documentedin vitro andin vivo. It is, however, not clear whether melatonin is also neuroportective against excitotoxicity mediated by NMDA receptors. In the present work, we tested thein vivo protective effects of striatally infused melatonin against the oxidative stress and neuronal damage induced by the injection of KA and NMDA receptors into the rat striatum. Melatonin implants consisting of 22-gauge stainless-steels cannule with melatonin fused inside the tip were placed bilaterally in the rat brain one week prior to intrastriatal injection of glutamate receptor subtype agonists. Melatonin showed protective effects against the elevation of lipid peroxidation induced by either KA or NMDA and recovered Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase activities reduced by both KA and NMDA into the control level. Melatonin also clearly blocked both KA- and NMDA-receptor mediated neuronal damage assessed by the determination of choline acetyltransferase activity in striatal homogenages and by microscopic observation of rat brain section stained with cresyl violet. The protective effects of melatonin are comparable to those of DNQX and MK801 which are the KA- and NMDA-receptor antagonist, respectively. It is suggested that melatonin could protect against striatal oxidative damages mediated by glutamate receptors, both non-NMDA and NMDA receptors.

Key words

Melatonin Rat striatum Glutamate receptors Oxidative stress Neuronal damage SOD Lipid peroxidation 

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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hwa-Jung Kim
    • 1
  • Jin Suk Kwon
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PharmacyEwha Womans UniversitySeoulKorea

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