The Effect of Melatonin on Mitochondrial Function in Endotoxemia Induced by Lipopolysaccharide

  • Liu, Jing (College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University) ;
  • Wu, Fengming (College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University) ;
  • Liu, Yuqing (College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Tao (College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University) ;
  • Tang, Zhaoxin (College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2010.05.13
  • Accepted : 2010.08.17
  • Published : 2011.06.01


This study examined the metabolism of free radicals in hepatic mitochondria of goats induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and investigated the effects of melatonin (MT). Forty-eight healthy goats ($10{\pm}1.2\;kg$) were randomly selected and divided into four groups: saline control, LPS, MT+LPS and MT. The goats within each group were3 sacrificed either 3 or 6 h after treatment and the livers removed to isolate mitochondria. The respiration control ratio (RCR), the ADP:O ratio, the oxidative phosphorylation ratio (OPR), the concentration of $H_2O_2$ and the activities of Complex I-IV were determined. The mitochondrial membrane potential ($\Delta\psi_m$) was analyzed by flow cytometry. The results showed that RCR, O/P and OPR of the LPS group decreased (p<0.05), as well as activities of respiratory complexes, whereas the generation of $H_2O_2$ in Complex III increased (p<0.05) after 3 h, while Complex II and III increased after 6 h. Also, it was found that the mitochondrial membrane potential of the LPS group declined (p<0.05). However, pre-treatment with MT attenuated the injury induced by LPS, which not only presented higher (p<0.05) RCR, O/P, OPR, and respiratory complex activities, but also maintained the $\Delta\psi_m$. Interestingly, it is revealed that, in the MT+LPS group, the generation of $H_2O_2$ increased firstly in 3 h, and then significantly (p<0.05).decreased after 6 h. In the MT group, the function of mitochondria, the transmenbrane potential and the generation of $H_2O_2$ were obviously improved compared to the control group. Conclusion: melatonin prevents damage caused by LPS on hepatic mitochondria of goats.


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