Author(s): Abuja PM, Liebmann P, Hayn M, Schauenstein K, Esterbauer H
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Abstract The antioxidant effect of melatonin on LDL oxidation was studied in vitro using either a thermolabile initiator or copper ions to induce lipid peroxidation. Loading of LDL with melatonin showed only weak protection against oxidative damage as compared to alpha-tocopherol. In the presence of high concentrations of melatonin (1000 mol/mol LDL) in the medium a clear protective effect was found during lag- and propagation phase, albeit weaker than after loading with alpha-tocopherol. It is concluded that melatonin is not incorporated into LDL in sufficient concentrations to prevent lipid peroxidation effectively. When melatonin is present in the incubation medium during oxidation, a partitioning equilibrium between aqueous and lipid phase is established. Only under these conditions can melatonin act as a chain breaking antioxidant. The concentrations required, however, are far beyond those found in human plasma. Therefore, the data in this study do not support a direct physiological relevance of melatonin as an antioxidant in lipid peroxidation processes.
This article was published in FEBS Lett
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research