A Recent Approach: Melatonin Avoids Anatomofunctional Changes Associated to Aging in a Rat Model

Melatonin is a hormone produced predominantly by the pineal gland and released at night. Its secretion has a circadian pattern, peaking at night. Melatonin is a natural hormone that has a circadian cycle in humans, and its levels rise during the night. Its secretion begins about three months of age and continues to increase during childhood. Melatonin secretion decreases prior to puberty and tends to decline until old age. Melatonin has physiological effects that are mediated by at least four mechanisms: membrane receptors, orphan nuclear receptors, calmodulin, and free radicals. The amount of melatonin produced varies with age. Melatonin is secreted in small amounts by infants under three months of age. It has been proposed that ageing is caused by the oxidation of cells, which causes them to become vulnerable to damage and ultimately die. This research explores the antioxidant effects of melatonin in a rodent model, including free radical formation, MAP2 protein expression, and hippocampus electrophysiology at various ages. When compared to controls, the findings show that melatonin retains a “best” state in the experimental animals. It indicates that melatonin could be used as a treatment to avoid or postpone the effects of ageing on cells.

Author (s) Details

Bertha Prieto Gómez
Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM, México.

Cruz Reyes-Vázquez
Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM, México.

Mireya Velázquez-Paniagua
Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM, México.

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