Melatonin enhances mitochondrial biogenesis and protects against rotenone-induced mitochondrial deficiency in early porcine embryos.
J Pineal Res. 2019 Nov 27:e12627. Epub 2019 Nov 27. PMID: 31773776
Melatonin, a major hormone of the pineal gland, exerts many beneficial effects on mitochondria. Several studies have shown that melatonin can protect against toxin-induced oocyte quality impairment during maturation. However, there is little information regarding the beneficial effects of melatonin on toxin-exposed early embryos, and the mechanisms underlying such effects have not been determined. Rotenone, a chemical widely used in agriculture, induces mitochondrial toxicity, therefore, damaging the reproductive system, impairing oocyte maturation, ovulation, and fertilization. We investigated whether melatonin attenuated rotenone exposure-induced impairment of embryo development by its mitochondrial protection effect. Activated oocytes were randomly assigned to four groups, the control, melatonin treatment, rotenone-exposed, and"rotenone + melatonin"groups. Treatment with melatonin abrogated rotenone-induced impairment of embryo development, mitochondrial dysfunction, and ATP deficiency, and significantly decreased oxidative stress and apoptosis. Melatonin also increased SIRT1 and PGC-1α expression, which promoted mitochondrial biogenesis. SIRT1 knockdown or pharmacological inhibition abolished melatonin's ability to revert rotenone-induced impairment. Thus, melatonin rescued rotenone-induced impairment of embryo development by reducing ROS production and promoting mitochondrialbiogenesis. This study shows that melatonin rescues toxin-induced impairment of early porcine embryo development by promoting mitochondrial biogenesis.