, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 237-245
Date: 29 Dec 2011

Evaluation of blood antioxidant defense and apoptosis in peripheral lymphocytes on exogenous administration of pineal proteins and melatonin in rats

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In view of the significant health impact of oxidative stress and apoptosis dysfunction, and further, because of suggestions that administration of antioxidants might reduce apoptosis rate through up-regulation of body antioxidant defense systems, therefore the purpose of this study was to compare the effect of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) pineal proteins (PP at 100 μg/kg BW, i.p.) with melatonin (MEL at 10 mg/kg BW, i.p.) on blood (erythrocytes) antioxidant defense system and apoptosis in isolated peripheral blood lymphocytes of female Wistar albino rats. The cell viability index (%) and apoptosis index (%), which are directly related to the apoptosis rate of the cells, were used as dependent measures for inferring PP and MEL activity. The total cell viability index did not differ between rats treated with MEL and PP from control animals. The percentage of apoptotic cell death through fluorescence microscopy also did not change in MEL and PP groups as compared with control. DNA fragmentation as an index of apoptosis was detected with propidium iodide staining and assessed by flow cytometry. Pineal proteins and MEL administration caused significant (p < 0.05) reduction in lipid peroxidation and increased level of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione in erythrocytes as compared with control. Interestingly, we did not observe increase in the non-viable cells and percentage of apoptotic cell death in PP-treated group, controls or in animals in which MEL had been administered. Therefore, the present study confirmed the up-regulation of erythrocytes (blood) antioxidant defense systems and absence of adverse effect on rate of apoptosis in PP and MEL-administered rats under absence of stress or toxicant exposure. Hence, these test agents can be tested for further therapeutic values against adverse apoptosis rate under stress or toxicants exposures.