Radioprotective effect of melatonin against radiotherapy-induced cerebral cortex and cerebellum damage in rat

Serhat Aras*, Mustafa Efendioğlu, Aini Wulamujiang, Sidika Seyma Ozkanli, Mevlüt Sait Keleş, İhsan Oğuz Tanzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The present study aims to investigate the radioprotective effect of melatonin (MEL) against early period brain damage caused by different dose rate beams in the experimental rat model. Materials and methods: Forty-eight Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups; the control, only melatonin, low dose rate-radiotherapy (LDR-RT), high dose rate-radiotherapy (HDR-RT) groups and (LDR-RT) + MEL and (HDR-RT) + MEL radiotherapy plus melatonin groups. Each rat administered melatonin was given a dose of 10 mg/kg through intraperitoneal injection, 15 minutes before radiation exposure. The head and neck region of each rat in only radiotherapy and radiotherapy plus melatonin groups was irradiated with a single dose of 16 Gy in LDR-RT and HDR-RT beams. Rats in all groups were examined for histopathology and biochemistry analysis 10 days after radiotherapy. Results: Comparing the findings for LDR-RT and HDR-RT only radiotherapy groups and the control group, there was a statistically significant difference in histopathological and biochemical parameters, however, melatonin administered in radiotherapy plus melatonin groups contributed improving these parameters (p <.05). There was no statistically significant difference between LDR-RT and HDR-RT beams (p >.05). Conclusions: It was concluded that melatonin applied before LDR-RT and HDR-RT radiotherapy protected early period radiotherapy-induced brain damage. The effects of clinically low and high dose beams on the cerebral cortex and cerebellum were investigated histopathologically for the first time. HDR beams can be safely applied in brain radiotherapy. However, more experimental rat and clinical studies are needed to explain the radiobiological uncertainties about the clinic dose rate on different cancerous and healthy tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number3
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • biochemistry
  • brain
  • flattening filter free
  • histopathology
  • melatonin
  • Radiotherapy


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