Article Abstract

Journal of Medical and Biological Science

Review|Published August 2020|Vol. 6 (4): 42-50.


Melatonin Protects the Purkinje Neurons of Cerebellum of Neonates from Apoptosis Induced by Maternal Hypothyroidism in Wistar Rats

Mariyah Hidayat1, Raees Abbas Lail2, Khalid P. Lone3

1Department of Anatomy, Central Park Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan 2Department of Pathology, Sahiwal Medical College, Sahiwal, Pakistan 3Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan



This study was designed to evaluate the effect of melatonin in preventing apoptosis of Purkinje neurons in 22 days old pups born to hypothyroid Wistar albino rats. Sixteen mother rats were equally divided into 4 groups (A, B, C, D). Their medication started a week earlier before they were allowed to conceive and continued during gestation and breastfeeding till weaning of offspring. Group A was the control. Group B was given propylthiouracil (PTU) to inhibit their thyroid gland activity which resulted in increased serum TSH and reduced T4 levels. Group C was administered both PTU and melatonin, whereas group D was administered melatonin only. In melatonin treated hypothyroid rats (group C), significant findings were observed. This study highlighted the potential protective mechanisms of melatonin in Purkinje cells of pups born to hypothyroid dams. Melatonin restored the serum levels of TSH and T4 and down-regulated the gene expressions of Bax along with caspases 3 and 9 in Purkinje cells of pups. Thus melatonin suppressed the neuronal apoptosis induced by maternal hypothyroidism. Considering the limited remedies to effectively treat hypothyroidism associated with neonatal brain damage, melatonin may provide an alternative method for this disorder.

Keywords: Hypothyroidism, propylthiouracyl, melatonin, cerebellum, purkinje neurons, apoptosis, thyroid hormones.

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