, 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.

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.