Comparison of melatonin and oxytocin in the prevention of critical illness polyneuropathy in rats with experimentally induced sepsis.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Critical illness polyneuropathy is an acute neuromuscular disorder of critically ill patients and is characterized by limb and respiratory muscle weakness. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of melatonin (MEL) and oxytocin (OT) on the early stage of sepsis by recording compound muscle action potentials and measuring plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels, lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde; MDA), and total antioxidant capacity. MATERIALS AND METHODS One hundred adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were included in the study. The cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) procedure was performed to induce the sepsis model. MEL (10, 20, and 40 mg/kg), OT (0.4, 0.8, and 1.6 mg/kg), and a combination of MEL (20 mg/kg) and OT (0.8 mg/kg) were administered intraperitoneally in the first hour of surgery. Electromyography (EMG) studies were achieved 24 h after CLP surgery and then blood samples were collected for biochemical measurements. RESULTS EMG findings revealed that compound muscle action potential amplitude was significantly decreased and distal latency was prolonged in the CLP group compared with the sham group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.0005). Moreover, the animals that received CLP surgery showed significantly higher TNF-α and MDA levels and lower total antioxidant capacity values than the sham group. The administration of MEL and OT to rats significantly abolished the EMG alterations and suppressed oxidative stress and TNF-α release in CLP-induced rats. CONCLUSIONS The inflammatory processes and imbalance in oxidative/antioxidative status play important roles in the pathogenesis of critical illness polyneuropathy. We suggest that both oxytocin and melatonin may have beneficial effects against sepsis-induced polyneuropathy in critical illness.

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