Effects of Melatonin-Aided Therapy on the Glutathione Antioxidant System Activity and Liver Protection

J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2015 Oct;29(10):449-457. doi: 10.1002/jbt.21705. Epub 2015 Apr 22.


Acute hepatitis results from oxidative stress triggered by hepatotoxic drugs causing liver injury and the activation of caspases cascade. The glutathione antioxidant system protects against reactive oxygen species and mitigates development of these processes. The effectiveness of silymarin, a polyphenolic flavonoid, essenthiale, composed of phosphatidyl choline, and melaxen, a melatonin-correcting drug, as hepatoprotectors has been investigated. The variation of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s), resulting from the biotransformation of melatonin, and GSH has been measured. The activities of caspase-1 and caspase-3, glutathione antioxidant system, and NADPH-generating enzymes were determined. The aMT6s decreases in patients with drug hepatitis and recovers with administration of mexalen. GSH increased in the presence of the studied hepatoprotectors. Pathologically activated caspase-1 and caspase-3 decreased their activities in the presence of hepatoprotectors with melaxen showing the highest effect. The positive effect of melatonin appears to be related to the suppression of decompensation of the glutathione antioxidant system functions, recovery of liver redox status, and the attenuation of inhibition of the NADPH supply.

Keywords: 6-Sulfatoxymelatonin; Drug-induced hepatitis; Glutathione antioxidant system; Hepatoprotectors; Reduced gluthatione.