Valproic acid (VPA) is a anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing agent used to treat epilepsy in patients of all ages. However, it can cause hepatotoxicity with increased oxidative stress. Melatonin (MEL) is known as antioxidant and antiinflammatory agent. Therefore, the present study designed to investigate the probable protective role of melatonin against VPA-induced liver toxicity. For that purpose, 28 Wistar rats were randomly selected and divided into four groups, namely the Group C (vehicle), VPA (500 mg/kg/day VPA), MEL + VPA (10 mg/kg/day melatonin + 500 mg/kg/day VPA) and MEL (10 mg/kg/day melatonin). The agents were given by oral gavage for 14 days. Blood and liver tissue samples from all the rats were harvested on the 15th day of experiment. Biochemical analyses were conducted on the blood samples. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), alpha glutathione S-transferases (α-GST), nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and changes in gene expression were examined in the liver tissues. Also, liver histopathological analyses were conducted. VPA administration significantly increased the levels of α-GST, MDA, NF-κB and of IL-1β, TNF-α gene expression in the liver compared to Group C. Moreover, vacuolization, hydropic degeneration, inflammatory cell infiltration, and sinusoidal congestion were commonly detected in the VPA-treated group along with the highest apoptotic index (TUNEL staining) values. Melatonin administration was revealed to exhibit powerful protective properties at cellular, inflammatory and oxidative level activities against VPA-induced liver toxicity. Therefore, melatonin administration may be used as an adjuvant therapy against to VPA-induced liver toxicity.
Keywords: Hepatotoxicity; Melatonin; Sodium valproate.
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