Melatonin protects against burn-induced hepatic oxidative injury by inducing HO-1 via the Nrf2 pathway G., Tzaneva M., Hristova M. (2015): Melatonin protects against burn-induced hepatic oxidative injury by inducing HO-1 via the Nrf2 pathway. Veterinarni Medicina, 60: 621-628.
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Melatonin exerts beneficial effects on early liver injury by modulating hepatic oxidative stress. In order to understand the protective effect of melatonin against burn-induced hepatic injury we investigated the expression of 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), a main product of lipid peroxidation and mediator of oxidative injury, the inducible heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an antioxidant enzyme, and the anti-oxidative stress regulator erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in a burn rat model. Expression and localisation of HO-1, 4-HNE and Nrf2 in liver were investigated using light immunochemistry. Thermal skin injury caused a significant elevation in hepatic 4-HNE and degenerative liver changes. Concurrently, there was increased expression of HO-1, a rate-limiting enzyme for haem degradation and an oxidative stress marker in sinusoidal endothelial cells (SECs) and hepatocytes without changes in Nrf2 expression in the liver. Melatonin (20 mg/kg b.w.) augmented the increase in HO-1 expression, upregulated Nrf2 expression and also led to decreased 4-HNE levels and reduced levels of histopathological changes in rat liver. In conclusion, our results suggest that melatonin ameliorates burn-induced liver injury through the inhibition of oxidative stress, upregulation of the antioxidant enzyme HO-1 and activation of the antioxidant Nrf2 pathway. Stimulation of cellular protective mechanisms by activating the antioxidant stress response through Nrf2 is a new mechanism for protection against liver damage in burns.
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