Melatonin is a scavenger of peroxynitrite

Eli Gilad, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Basilia Zingarelli, Andrew L. Salzman, Csaba Szabó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Scopus citations


Peroxynitrite is a toxic oxidant formed from the reaction of superoxide and nitric oxide under conditions of inflammation and oxidant stress. Here we demonstrate that the pineal neurohormone melatonin inhibits peroxynitrite-mediated oxidant processes. Melatonin caused a dose-dependent inhibition of the oxidation of dihydrorhodamine 123 to rhodamine in vitro. Moreover, in cultured J774 macrophages, melatonin inhibited the development of DNA single strand breakage in response to peroxynitrite and reduced the suppression of mitochondrial respiration. Thus, melatonin appears to be a scavenger of peroxynitrite. This action may contribute to the antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects of melatonin in various pathophysiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)PL169-PL174
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 31 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Free radicals
  • Melatonin
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pineal
  • Shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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