Melatonin Attenuates Traumatic Brain Injury-induced Inflammation: A Possible Role for Mitophagy.
J Pineal Res. 2016 Apr 27. Epub 2016 Apr 27. PMID: 27117839
Melatonin functions as a crucial mediator of sterile neuroinflammation; however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Dysfunctional mitochondria, a main source of reactive oxygen species, are impacted in inflammation activation. This study aimed to examine the effect of melatonin on inflammation via elimination of damaged mitochondria after controlled cortical impact, an in vivo model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here, we demonstrated that inhibition of mitophagy, the selective degradation of damaged mitochondria by autophagy, markedly enhanced inflammation induced by TBI. Melatonin treatment activated mitophagy through the mTOR pathway, then to attenuate TBI-induced inflammation. Furthermore, treatment with melatonin significantly ameliorated neuronal death and behavioral deficits after TBI, while 3-methyladenine reversed this effect by inhibiting mitophagy. Taken together, these results highlight a role for melatonin in protecting against TBI-triggered immunopathology, which is accomplished by negatively regulating inflammation activation and IL-1β secretion via the autophagy of damaged mitochondria. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.