, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 283–291 | Cite as

Melatonin increases tissue accumulation and toxicity of cadmium in the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus)

  • Ewa Chwełatiuk
  • Tadeusz Włostowski
  • Alicja Krasowska
  • Elzbieta Bonda


Recent study has shown that a short photoperiod increases the accumulation and toxicity of cadmium (Cd) in the bank vole as compared to a long photoperiod. Since many of the effects of photoperiod on physiological processes in small mammals are transduced by the pineal gland and its hormone melatonin, in this study the effect of subchronic melatonin injection (7 μmol/kg/day for 6 weeks) on the hepatic, renal and intestinal Cd accumulation in the bank voles raised under a long photoperiod and exposed to dietary Cd (0.9 μmol/g) was examined. Simultaneously, histological examinations of the liver and kidneys, and analyses of metallothionein (MT) and lipid peroxidation were carried out. Melatonin co-treatment brought about a significant increase in the hepatic (61%), renal (79%) and intestinal (77%) Cd concentrations as compared to those in the Cd alone group. However, the concentrations of MT in the liver and kidneys of the Cd + melatonin co-treated bank voles did not differ from those in the Cd alone group. Also, histopathological changes in the liver (infiltration of leukocytes) and kidneys (glomerular swelling and a focal tubular cell degeneration) as well as an increase (2-fold) in the renal lipid peroxidation occurred only in animals from the Cd + melatonin group. These data indicate that (1) subchronic melatonin injection has similar effect on the tissue accumulation and toxicity of Cd to that produced by a short photoperiod and (2) the Cd-induced toxicity in the liver and kidneys of melatonin co-treated bank voles is probably due to increased Cd accumulation and decreased synthesis of MT.

Key words

cadmium melatonin metallothionein lipid peroxidation 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ewa Chwełatiuk
    • 1
  • Tadeusz Włostowski
    • 1
  • Alicja Krasowska
    • 1
  • Elzbieta Bonda
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of BiologyUniversity of BiałystokBiałystokPoland

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