Effect of pinealectomy and melatonin replacement on morphological and biochemical recovery after traumatic brain injury.
ABSTRACT Numerous studies showed that melatonin, a free radical scavenger, is neuroprotective. In this study, we investigated the effect of pinealectomy and administration of exogenous melatonin on oxidative stress and morphological changes after experimental brain injury. The animals were divided into six groups, each having 12 rats. Group 1 underwent craniotomy alone. Group 2 underwent craniotomy followed by brain trauma and received no medication. Group 3 underwent craniotomy followed by brain trauma and received melatonin. Group 4 underwent pinealectomy and craniotomy alone. Group 5 underwent pinealectomy and craniotomy followed by brain injury and received no medication. Group 6 underwent pinealectomy and craniotomy followed by brain trauma and received melatonin. Melatonin (100 mg/kg) was given intraperitoneally immediately after trauma to the rats in Groups 3 and 6. Pinealectomy caused a significant increase in the malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), glutathione (GSH), and xanthine oxidase (XO) levels, and a decrease in GSH levels as compared to the control group. Trauma to pinealectomized rats causes significantly higher oxidative stress. Exogeneous melatonin administration significantly reduced MDA, XO and NO levels, increased GSH levels, and attenuated tissue lesion area. These findings suggest that reduction in endogenous melatonin after pinealectomy makes the rats more vulnerable to trauma, and exogenous melatonin administration has an important neuroprotective effect.