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Neuroendocrinology Letters, Vol. 20 Nos. 3/4 Contents
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Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology. Invited Review Papers.
ISSN 0172–780X Copyright © 1999 Neuroendocrinology Letters
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NEL VOL. 20 3/4
1999; 20:145–150
Oxidative damage to nuclear DNA: amelioration by melatonin 
by Russel J. Reiter

Key words:
melatonin, pineal gland, antioxidant


The indoleamine melatonin, a product of tryptophan metabolism in the pineal gland, is a free radical scavenger and antioxidant. This brief review summarizes melatonin’s 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 melatonin’s 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
All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or ortherwise, without prior written permission from the Editor-in-Chief.