Melatonin and protection from whole-body irradiation: survival studies in mice

Published on Friday, 15 January 2016


The radioprotective ability of melatonin was investigated in mice exposed to an acute whole-body gamma radiation dose of 815 cGy (estimated LD50/30 dose).

The animals were observed for mortality over a period of 30 days following irradiation.

The results indicated 100% survival for unirradiated and untreated control mice, and for mice treated with melatonin or solvent alone.

Forty-five percent of mice exposed to 815 cGy radiation alone, and 50% of mice pretreated with solvent and irradiated with 815 cGy were alive at the end of 30 days.

Irradiated mice which were pretreated with 125 mg/kg melatonin exhibited a slight increase in their survival (60%) (p=0.3421).

In contrast, 85% of irradiated mice which were pretreated with 250 mg/kg melatonin were alive at the end of 30 days (p=0.0080).

These results indicate that melatonin (at a dose as high as 250 mg/kg) is non-toxic, and that high doses of melatonin are effective in protecting mice from lethal effects of acute whole-body irradiation.



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