Introduction. Thermal injury activates an inflammatory response. Melatonin possesses anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The objective of the present work was to study melatonin effects on the inflammatory response under conditions of oxidative stress during the early stage of thermal injury.

Materials and methods. We used 24 white male rats of Wistar breed, randomly divided into three experimental groups. Group one was the control, group two was inflicted with burn trauma, and group three was inflicted with burn trauma, with melatonin application following the thermal injury. Melatonin was applied twice in doses of 10 g/kg b.m. immediately after the burn trauma and again at 12 hours. Plasma levels of tumor necrosis-factor-α (TNF-α), a pro-inflammatory mediator, and of interleukin-10 (Il-10), an anti-inflammatory mediator, were examined and their ratio was calculated. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), an oxidative stress marker, were also estimated.

Results. Thermal trauma significantly increased plasma TNF-α levels (ð<0.01) and TNF-α /IL-10 ratio but did not change IL-10 ones. Plasma MDA concentrations were significantly elevated as well (ð<0.0001). Melatonin application significantly reduced TNF-α (ð<0.05), increased IL-10 (ð<0.05), down-regulated TNF-α/IL-10 ratio and changed MDA concentrations (ð<0.01).

In conclusion, our results show that local alteration induces oxidative stress and inflammatory response with TNF-α /IL-10 disbalance. Melatonin modulates this response and attenuates oxidative stress in experimental burn injury.

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