Melatonin protects against behavioral deficits, dopamine loss and oxidative stress in homocysteine model of Parkinson's disease

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Hyperhomocysteinemia and homocysteine (Hcy) mediated dopaminergic neurotoxicity is a matter of concern in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Our previous study established the involvement of oxidative stress in the substantia nigra (SN) of Hcy rat model of PD; however, the role of antioxidants, such as melatonin, was not tested in this model.

Main methods:

Melatonin (10, 20 and 30 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered to rats injected with Hcy in right SN (1.0 μmol in 2 μl saline) to investigate its potency in attenuating the behavioral abnormalities, dopamine depletion and oxidative stress prompted by Hcy.

Key findings:

Treatment of melatonin protected against nigral dopamine loss and replenished the striatal dopamine loss that resulted in amelioration of rotational behavioral bias in Hcy denervated animals. Melatonin administration significantly improved mitochondrial complex-I activity and protected the SN neurons from the toxic insults of oxidative stress induced by Hcy. Amelioration of oxidative stress by melatonin in Hcy-infused SN was bought by dose-dependently scavenging of hydroxyl radicals, restoration of glutathione level and elevation in the activity of antioxidant enzymes.


The observations bring into light the significant neuroprotective potentials of melatonin in Hcy model of PD which is attributed to the attenuation of oxidative stress in SN.

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