Oxidative damage to nuclear DNA: amelioration by melatonin
by Russel J. Reiter
melatonin, pineal gland, antioxidant
indoleamine melatonin, a product of tryptophan metabolism in
the pineal gland, is a free radical scavenger and antioxidant.
This brief review summarizes melatonins ability to protect
nuclear DNA from oxidative damage. Using a variety of different
cytogenetic, biochemical and molecular biological methods, a
number of investigators have demonstrated melatonins ability
to protect DNA from the physical agent ionizing radiation, the
herbicide paraquat, the carcinogen safrole, the excitotoxin
kainic acid, the heavy metal chromium (VI), and a wide number
of mutagens. Since these agents damage DNA because they generate
free radicals, the observations are consistent with melatonin
being a radical scavenger and antioxidant.
Copyright © Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999
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