Title: Evaluation of melatonin for modulation of apoptosis-related genes in irradiated cervical spinal cord

Authors: Alireza Shirazi, Gholamhassan Haddadi, Bagher Minaee, Zargham Sepehrizadeh, Seied Rabie Mahdavi, Elham Jaberi, Maryam Haddadi

Addresses: Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. ' Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Fassa University of Medical Sciences, Fassa, Iran. ' Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. ' Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. ' Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. ' Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. ' Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract: This study examined the role of melatonin to reduce radiation-induced apoptosis in rat|s cervical spinal cord. A number of rats were divided into four groups: (1) control group; (2) group that was treated with intraperitonial injection of melatonin; (3) group that got melatonin 30 min prior to cervical spinal cord gamma irradiation at a dose of 22 Gy; and (4) group that was given an intraperitonial injection of vehicle and the spinal cord radiation. The expression of Bax and Bcl-2 was evaluated by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Radiation-induced apoptosis was preceded by an increase in Bax gene expression. There was no evidence of radiation-induced apoptosis in the spinal cord of melatonin-treated animals. These findings suggest that melatonin has protective effects against spinal cord radiation-induced apoptosis through regulation of Bcl-2 and Bax expression. Thus, one possible role of melatonin in prevention of spinal cord injury is to block radiation-induced apoptosis.

Keywords: melatonin; cervical spinal cord; apoptosis; low radiation; rats; gamma irradiation; gene expression; spinal cord injury.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLR.2010.037665

International Journal of Low Radiation, 2010 Vol.7 No.6, pp.436 - 445

Available online: 23 Dec 2010 *

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