Melatonin Benefits Bones in Old Rats


Melatonin dietary supplement as an anti-aging therapy for age-related bone loss.

Introduction: Previous studies have shown that melatonin, an antioxidant molecule secreted from the pineal gland, is a positive regulator of bone mass. However, melatonin potential effects on bone mass have never been investigated in old population yet. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of dietary melatonin supplementation on mass accrual and biomechanical properties of old rat femora. Methods: Twenty 22-months-old male Wistar rats were divided into 2 randomly assigned groups. The first group was treated for 10 weeks with melatonin, whereas the second group left untreated (control). Rat femurs were collected, and their phenotypes and biomechanical properties were investigated by micro-computed tomography, histomorphometry and 3-point-bending test. Statistical analyses were performed by Student’s two-tailed unpaired t-test. In all experiments, a value of p < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Rats treated with melatonin had higher bone volume, bone trabecular number, trabecular thickness and cortical thickness in comparison to control group. Histomorphometric analyses confirmed the increase of bone volume in melatonin-treated rats. In agreement with these findings, melatonin-treated rats demonstrated with higher bone stiffness, flexural modulus and ultimate load compared to controls. Conclusion: These compelling results are the first evidence indicating that dietary melatonin supplementation is able to exert beneficial effects against age-related bone loss in old rats; improving the microstructure and biomechanical properties of aged bones.

Tresguerres IF, Tamimi F, Eimar H, Barralet J…
Rejuvenation Res Mar 2014
PMID: 24617902