Aim: The present study was designed to evaluate the role vitamin E vs. melatonin in the prevention of the harmful effect of ischemia/reperfusion on the skeletal muscle of the adult male albino rat.
Materials and methods: forty-four adult male albino rats were used in this study. The rats were divided into four groups; each group consisted of 6 rats. Group I (control group), group II (ischemic/reperfusion group): ischemia was induced by clamping the right femoral arteries for two hours then the clamps were removed for 2 hours to induce reperfusion, group III (Vit E–treated group): the rats received Vitamin E injection one hour prior to reperfusion and group VI (Melatonin-treated group): the rats received melatonin injection one hour prior to reperfusion. At the end of the experiment, rats were sacrificed and samples from the right quadriceps muscles were subjected to biochemical, light and electron microscopic studies. The oxidative markers malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) were measured in the muscular tissue.
Results: The skeletal muscle was markedly affected after induction of ischemia/reperfusion. The skeletal myocytes showed fragmentation, cytoplasmic lysis and degeneration. The nuclei were pyknotic and central. There were intercellular edema and exudation. The mitochondria were damaged and there was vascular congestion. The mean value of MDA increased, while that of the GSH decreased. The administration of vitamin E or melatonin showed marked improvement in the biochemical profile as well as the histological architecture of the skeletal muscle. However, the improvement was more obvious in the melatonin-treated group.
Conclusion: The protective effect of melatonin is superior to vitamin E in the protection of the skeletal muscle against the harmful effect of I/R.