Cellular and Biochemical Actions of Melatonin which Protect Against Free Radicals: Role in Neurodegenerative Disorders

Author(s): Genaro G. Ortiz, Gloria A. Benitez-King, Sergio A. Rosales-Corral, Fermin P. Pacheco-Moises, Irma E. Velazquez-Brizuela.

Journal Name: Current Neuropharmacology

Volume 6 , Issue 3 , 2008

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Abstract:

Molecular oxygen is toxic for anaerobic organisms but it is also obvious that oxygen is poisonous to aerobic organisms as well, since oxygen plays an essential role for inducing molecular damage. Molecular oxygen is a triplet radical in its ground-stage (.O-O.) and has two unpaired electrons that can undergoes consecutive reductions of one electron and generates other more reactive forms of oxygen known as free radicals and reactive oxygen species. These reactants (including superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals) possess variable degrees of toxicity. Nitric oxide (NO • ) contains one unpaired electron and is, therefore, a radical. NO • is generated in biological tissues by specific nitric oxide synthases and acts as an important biological signal. Excessive nitric oxide production, under pathological conditions, leads to detrimental effects of this molecule on tissues, which can be attributed to its diffusion-limited reaction with superoxide to form the powerful and toxic oxidant, peroxynitrite. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are molecular “renegades”; these highly unstable products tend to react rapidly with adjacent molecules, donating, abstracting, or even sharing their outer orbital electron(s). This reaction not only changes the target molecule, but often passes the unpaired electron along to the target, generating a second free radical, which can then go on to react with a new target amplifying their effects. This review describes the mechanisms of oxidative damage and its relationship with the most highly studied neurodegenerative diseases and the roles of melatonin as free radical scavenger and neurocytoskeletal protector.

Keywords: Melatonin, alzheimer, parkinson, oxidative stress, NO, neurodegeneration

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Article Details

VOLUME: 6
ISSUE: 3
Year: 2008
Page: [203 - 214]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/157015908785777201
Price: $58

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