Melatonin prevents methotrexate-induced hepatorenal oxidative injury in rats

Jahovic N., Cevik H., Sehirli A., Yegen B. , Sener G.

JOURNAL OF PINEAL RESEARCH, vol.34, no.4, pp.282-287, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1034/j.1600-079x.2003.00043.x
  • Page Numbers: pp.282-287
  • Keywords: glutathione, kidney, lipid peroxidation, liver, melatonin, methotrexate, myeloperoxidase activity, LIPID-PEROXIDATION, HEPATOTOXICITY, GLUTATHIONE, TOXICITY, CELLS, MECHANISMS, PROTECTS, STRESS, DAMAGE, DRUG


Regarding the mechanisms of methotrexate (MTX) hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity, several hypotheses have been put forward, among which oxidative stress (including depletion of glutathione) is likely. This investigation elucidates the role of free radicals in MTX-induced toxicity and the protection by melatonin. Wistar albino rats were injected with MTX intraperitoneally. Following a single dose of MTX (20 mg/kg), either saline (MTX group) or melatonin (10 mg/kg, MTX + Mel group) was administered for 5 days. In other rats, physiologic saline (control group) or melatonin (10 mg/kg, Mel group) was injected for 5 days, following a single injection of saline. On the sixth day, rats were killed to obtain blood, liver, and kidney tissue samples. Malondialdehyde (MDA), an end product of lipid peroxidation, and glutathione (GSH), a key antioxidant, levels were evaluated in blood and tissue homogenates. Reactive oxygen metabolite-induced inflammatory changes in kidney and liver tissues were evaluated by measuring myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, an index of neutrophil infiltration. MTX administration resulted in increased MDA levels and MPO activity and decreased GSH levels in the blood, liver, and kidney whereas melatonin reversed these effects. When melatonin was administered alone, no significant changes in biochemical parameters were noted. In conclusion, the present study suggests that melatonin may be of therapeutic benefit when used with MTX.