Intake of melatonin is associated with amelioration of physiological changes, both metabolic and morphological pathologies associated with obesity: An animal model

Mahmoud R. Hussein, Omyma G. Ahmed, Asmaa Farghaly Mohammed, Marwa A. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obesity and its associated metabolic pathologies are the most common and detrimental diseases, affecting over 50% of the adult population. Our knowledge about the protective effects of melatonin against high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity is still marginal. In this investigation, we hypothesized that melatonin can minimize the metabolic pathologies and morphological changes associated with obesity in animals receiving an HFD. To examine these effects, and to test our hypothesis, an animal model formed of male Boscat white rabbits was established. The animals were divided into three groups: (i) a control group fed regular diet; (ii) an obesity group fed an HFD for 12 weeks; and (iii) a treated group fed HFD for 12 weeks and then treated with melatonin for 4 weeks. The animals were killed and their serum and tissues were evaluated for: (i) lipid profile (cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein) and glucose; (ii) antioxidant enzyme (serum glutathione peroxidase, GSH-PX); and (iii) fatty changes (liver, kidney and blood vessels). Compared with the control group, intake of HFD (obesity group) was associated with: (i) a statistically significant increase in blood pressure, heart rate, sympathetic nerve activity, body weight, food consumption, serum lipids, blood glucose levels and atherogenic index; (ii) decreased level of GSH-PX and high-density lipoprotein (HDL); and (iii) fatty changes in the liver and kidney as well as atheromatous changes in the blood vessels. Compared with the obesity group, intake of melatonin (treated group) was associated with: (i) a statistically significant decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, sympathetic nerve activity, body weight, food consumption, serum lipids, blood glucose levels and atherogenic index; (ii) increased level of GSH-PX and HDL; and (iii) disappearance of fatty changes in the liver and kidney as well as atheromatous changes in the blood vessels. The administration of melatonin reduced the metabolic pathologies associated with the intake of HFD, suggesting a protective role. Although the underlying mechanisms are unclear, they may include its antioxidant and receptor-mediated effects. The clinical ramifications of these effects await further investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Experimental Pathology
Volume88
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular system
  • High-fat diet
  • Lipids
  • Melatonin

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