Sergio D. Paredes 1, , Lisa Rancan 2, , Roman Kireev 3 , Alberto González 2 , Pedro Louzao 2 , Pablo González 4 , Cruz Rodríguez-Bobada 4 , Cruz García 2 , Elena Vara 2 , Jesús A.F. Tresguerres 1, , †
01 October 2015
Aging increases oxidative stress and inflammation. Melatonin counteracts inflammation and apoptosis. This study investigated the possible protective effect of melatonin on the inflammatory and apoptotic response secondary to ischemia induced by blockade of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA) in aging male Wistar rats. Animals were subjected to MCA obstruction. After 24 h or 7 days of procedure, 14-month-old nontreated and treated rats with a daily dose of 10 mg/kg melatonin were sacrificed and right and left hippocampus and cortex were collected. Rats aged 2 and 6 months, respectively, were subjected to the same brain injury protocol, but they were not treated with melatonin. mRNA expression of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), Bcl-2-associated death promoter (BAD), Bcl-2-associated X protein (BAX), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), and sirtuin 1 was measured by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. In nontreated animals, a significant time-dependent increase in IL-1β, TNF-α, BAD, and BAX was observed in the ischemic area of both hippocampus and cortex, and to a lesser extent in the contralateral hemisphere. Hippocampal GFAP was also significantly elevated, while Bcl-2 and sirtuin 1 decreased significantly in response to ischemia. Aging aggravated these changes. Melatonin administration was able to reverse significantly these alterations. In conclusion, melatonin may ameliorate the age-dependent inflammatory and apoptotic response secondary to ischemic cerebral injury.