, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 33-40

Induction of lipid peroxidation in hamster organs by the carcinogen cadmium: amelioration by melatonin

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Cadmium is a well-known human carcinogen. Lipid peroxidation is involved in cadmium-related toxicity and carcinogenesis. Melatonin is an effective antioxidant and free radical scavenger. The potential protective effects of melatonin against cadmium-induced lipid peroxidation in hamster brain, heart, kidney, testes, lung, and liver were examined. Lipid peroxidation was induced by intraperitoneal injection of cadmium chloride [single dose of 1 mg/kg body weight (bw)]. To test whether melatonin would protect against the toxicity of the carcinogen, the melatonin was injected peritoneally at a dose of either 15 mg/kg bw or 5 mg/kg bw, 0.5 h before cadmium treatment and thereafter at 8 h intervals during the day in the 48 h interval following the cadmium injection. One group of hamsters received only a single melatonin injection (a dose of 15 mg/kg bw, 30 min prior to cadmium). Forty-eight hours after cadmium injection, lipid peroxidation increased in brain, heart, kidney, testes, and lung. Either multiple injections of melatonin at both the 5 and 15 mg/kg bw doses, or a single injection of 15 mg/kg bw, prevented the cadmium-related increases in lipid peroxidation in brain, heart and lung. Cadmium-induced lipid peroxidation in kidney was prevented by melatonin when it was given as a single dose of 15 mg/kg bw. Melatonin slightly, but not significantly, reduced cadmium-induced lipid peroxidation in testes. It is concluded that cadmium toxicity, at least with regard to the resulting lipid peroxidation, is reduced by administering melatonin.