Melatonin Protects the Heart, Lungs and Kidneys from Oxidative Stress under Intermittent Hypobaric Hypoxia in Rats
Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is the main secretory product of the pineal gland in all mammals including humans, but it is also produced in other organs. It has been previously demonstrated to be a powerful organ-protective substance under oxidative stress conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective effect of melatonin in several organs such as heart, lung, kidney, and of the reproductive system, such as testis and epididymis in animals exposed to intermittent hypobaric hypoxia and therefore exposed to oxidative stress and analyzed by lipid peroxidation. Ten-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into 6 groups for 96 hours during 32 days under: 1) Normobaric conditions, 2) plus physiologic solution, 3) plus melatonin, 4) intermittent hypobaric hypoxia, 5 plus physiologic solution and 6) plus melatonin. The animals were injected with melatonin (10 mg/kg body weight) at an interval of 96 hours during 32 days. Results indicated that melatonin decreased lipid peroxidation in heart, kidneys and lung under intermittent hypobaric hypoxia conditions. However, it did not exhibit any protective effect in liver, testis, epididymis and sperm count.