Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 286, Issue 1–2, pp 11–15 | Cite as

Effects of melatonin in reducing the toxic effects of doxorubicin



Anthracycline antibiotics, such as doxorubicin and daunorubicin, constitute a group of wide spectrum therapeutic agents. Application of these drugs in chemotherapy is limited because of their toxic effects. Melatonin, the main secretory product of pineal gland, was recently found as a free radical scavenger and antioxidant.

We decided to evaluate the tissue protective effect of melatonin against toxic effects of doxorubicin in six groups of rats. Rats were given doxorubicin (Dx) (45 mg/kg dose), melatonin (MEL) (10 mg/kg), first doxorubicin and then melatonin (DM), first melatonin and then doxorubicin (MD).

The degree of kidney, lung, liver and brain cells' alterations were examined biochemically.

In doxorubicin-treated group, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of kidney, lung, liver and brain tissues were significantly increased but glutathione (GSH) levels were decreased compared to control rats. In the group in which first doxorubicin and then melatonin were given, MDA levels were significantly decreased compared to the doxorubicin-treated group.

In doxorubicin-treated group, serum levels of creatinine, uric acid, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and Lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) were significantly increased while serum albumin and total protein levels were significantly decreased compared to control rats.

Melatonin decreased the intensity of the changes produced by the administration of doxorubicin alone. Melatonin was quite efficient in reducing the formation of lipid peroxidation, restoring the tissue GSH contents and alterations of serum levels.


doxorubicin-induced toxicity lipid peroxidation melatonin 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyFaculty of Medicine, Gazi UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthFaculty of Medicine, Gazi UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Uğurlu sokakAnkaraTurkey

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