Melatonin may play a role in modulation of bax and bcl-2 expression levels to protect rat peripheral blood lymphocytes from gamma irradiation-induced apoptosis

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Published on Tuesday, 02 April 2019

Abstract

The close relationship between free radicals effects and apoptosis process has been proved.

Melatonin has been reported as a direct free radical scavenger.

We investigated the capability of melatonin in the modification of radiation-induced apoptosis and apoptosis-associated upstream regulators expression in rat peripheral blood lymphocytes.

Rats were irradiated with a single whole body Cobalt 60-gamma radiation dose of 8Gy at a dose rate of 101cGy/min with or without melatonin pretreatments at different concentrations of 10 and 100mg/kg body weight.

The rats were divided into eight groups of control, irradiation-only, vehicle-only, vehicle plus irradiation, 10mg/kg melatonin alone, 10mg/kg melatonin plus irradiation, 100mg/kg melatonin alone and 100mg/kg melatonin plus irradiation.

Rats were given an intraperitoneal (IP) injection of melatonin or the same volume of vehicle alone 1h prior to irradiation. Blood samples were taken 4, 24, 48 and 72h after irradiation for evaluation of flow cytometric analysis of apoptotic lymphocytes using Annexin V/PI assay and measurement of bax and bcl-2 expression using quantitative real-time PCR (RT(2)qPCR).

Irradiation-only and vehicle plus irradiation showed an increase in the percentage of apoptotic lymphocytes significantly different from control group (P<0.01), while melatonin pretreatments in a dose-dependent manner reduced it as compared with the irradiation-only and vehicle plus irradiation groups (P<0.01) in all time points.

This reduced apoptosis by melatonin was related to the downregulation of bax, upregulation of bcl-2, and therefore reduction of bax/bcl-2 ratio.

Our results suggest that melatonin in these doses may provide modulation of bax and bcl-2 expression as well as bax/bcl-2 ratio to protect rat peripheral blood lymphocytes from gamma irradiation-induced apoptosis.

 



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