, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 303–316 | Cite as

Beneficial effects of melatonin in a rat model of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease

  • Ekaterina A. Rudnitskaya
  • Kseniya Yi. Maksimova
  • Natalia A. Muraleva
  • Sergey V. Logvinov
  • Lyudmila V. Yanshole
  • Nataliya G. Kolosova
  • Natalia A. StefanovaEmail author
Research Article


Melatonin synthesis is disordered in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To determine the role of melatonin in the pathogenesis of AD, suitable animal models are needed. The OXYS rats are an experimental model of accelerated senescence that has also been proposed as a spontaneous rat model of AD-like pathology. In the present study, we demonstrate that disturbances in melatonin secretion occur in OXYS rats at 4 months of age. These disturbances occur simultaneously with manifestation of behavioral abnormalities against the background of neurodegeneration and alterations in hormonal status but before the signs of amyloid-β accumulation. We examined whether oral administration of melatonin could normalize the melatonin secretion and have beneficial effects on OXYS rats before progression to AD-like pathology. The results showed that melatonin treatment restored melatonin secretion in the pineal gland of OXYS rats as well as the serum levels of growth hormone and IGF-1, the level of BDNF in the hippocampus and the healthy state of hippocampal neurons. Additionally, melatonin treatment of OXYS rats prevented an increase in anxiety and the decline of locomotor activity, of exploratory activity, and of reference memory. Thus, melatonin may be involved in AD progression, whereas oral administration of melatonin could be a prophylactic strategy to prevent or slow down the progression of some features of AD pathology.


Alzheimer’s disease Melatonin Neurodegeneration OXYS rats 



We thank Dr. Vadim V. Yanshole of the International Tomography Center SB RAS, for assistance with the liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry experiments. This work was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project # 12-04-00091) and partially by grants from the government of the Russian Federation # 2012-220-03-435 and # 14.B25.31.0033. The mass spectrometric analysis involved financial support by the Russian Scientific Foundation (project # 14-14-00056).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ekaterina A. Rudnitskaya
    • 1
  • Kseniya Yi. Maksimova
    • 2
  • Natalia A. Muraleva
    • 1
  • Sergey V. Logvinov
    • 2
  • Lyudmila V. Yanshole
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nataliya G. Kolosova
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Natalia A. Stefanova
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Cytology and GeneticsNovosibirskRussia
  2. 2.Siberian State Medical UniversityTomskRussia
  3. 3.International Tomography Center SB RASNovosibirskRussia
  4. 4.Novosibirsk State UniversityNovosibirskRussia
  5. 5.Institute of MitoengineeringMoscowRussia

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