Protective effect of melatonin on methylmercury-induced mortality in mice

Choong Yong Kim, Kunihiko Nakai, Satomi Kameo, Naoyuki Kurokawa, Zhang Min Liu, Hiroshi Satoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Effect of melatonin on the mortality in methylmercury chloride (MMC)-intoxicated mice was evaluated. Mice were given MMC in the diet (40 mgHg/g) with or without melatonin in drinking water (20 mg/ml) for 5 weeks. In the control group, given MMC alone, 4 of 10 mice began to show neurological signs (e.g., abnormal righting reflex, staggering gaitfallen and posture on its side) concomitant with loss of body weight 4-7 days before death. This group also showed 60% of survival rate on the 35th day. However, the treated group, concomitantly given melatonin, showed a 100% of survival rate on the 35th day, although 1 of 10 mice began to show the neurological signs on the 33rd day. The level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance in the brain, as an indication of oxidative damage, showed a significant u decrease in the treated group compared with the control group. Thus, the 100% survival rate in the treated group may be partly due to antioxidative effect of melatonin on the MMC induced neurotoxicity. (C) 2000 Tohoku University Medical Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Aug


  • Intoxication
  • Melatonin
  • Methylmercury
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Survival rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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