Melatonin prevents post-traumatic ischemic damage in rats



Melatonin, Traumatic Brain Damage, Secondary Injury, Ischemic Injury


Aim: Brain trauma is among the leading causes of mortality and long-term disability in the world. Studies suggested that cerebral ischemia is an important mechanism of secondary neuronal injury in traumatic brain injury (TBI), and that melatonin has protective effects on the brain after trauma. It was also shown that melatonin alleviates the formation of cerebral ischemia and ischemic brain damage in many cerebral pathophysiological processes. However, there is no study which investigates the effects of melatonin on cerebral ischemia after brain trauma. Therefore, we aimed to induce experimental focal brain trauma in rats and assess the effects of melatonin on posttraumatic cerebral ischemia. Methods: The animals used in this research were divided into four groups as follows: Control group (Group 1), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) group (Group 2), TBI plus Placebo group (Group 3), and TBI plus Melatonin group (Group 4). Brain trauma was induced using the weight drop technique in all groups except the Control group (Group 1). The groups with induced brain trauma were separated into five sub-groups to be sacrificed at the given times (12, 24, 72, 120 and 168 hours). Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was applied to count the number of red neurons, which indicate the grade of cerebral ischemia. Results: Our results showed that the number of red neurons was significantly less (P<0.05) in the melatonin-treated groups compared to those in the trauma and placebo groups within the same amount of time. Conclusion: The present study found that melatonin markedly inhibits the progression of cerebral ischemia after brain trauma. Therefore, melatonin can be used as a potential therapeutic agent to prevent posttraumatic secondary cerebral injuries. However, further studies are needed to investigate the mechanism of its effect.


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Gölçek C, Aladağ MA, Gözükara H. Melatonin prevents post-traumatic ischemic damage in rats. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2020 Dec. 1 [cited 2024 Apr. 13];4(12):1101-3. Available from: