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Toxicity induced by chemical warfare agents: Insights on the protective role of melatonin

AutorPita, Rene; Marco-Contelles, José ; Ramos, Eva; Pino, Javier del; Romero, Alejandro
Palabras claveToxicity
Free radicals
Chemical warfare agents
Fecha de publicación2013
CitaciónChemico-Biological Interactions 206: 134- 142 (2013)
ResumenChemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) are substances that can be used to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy in warfare, but also against civilian population in terrorist attacks. Many chemical agents are able to generate free radicals and derived reactants, excitotoxicity process, or inflammation, and as consequence they can cause neurological symptoms and damage in different organs. Nowadays, taking into account that total immediate decontamination after exposure is difficult to achieve and there are not completely effective antidotes and treatments against all CWAs, we advance and propose that medical countermeasures against CWAs poisoning would benefit from a broad-spectrum multipotent molecule. Melatonin, a versatile and ubiquitous antioxidant molecule, originally discovered as a hormone synthesized mainly in the pineal gland, has low toxicity and high efficacy in reducing oxidative damage, anti-inflammatory effects by regulation of multiple cellular pathways and properties to prevent excitotoxicity, among others. The purpose of this review is to show the multiple and diverse properties of melatonin, as a pleiotropic indole derivative, and its marked potential for improving human health against the most widely used chemical weapons.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2013.09.001
issn: 0009-2797
e-issn: 1872-7786
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