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Protective effect of tetrahydrobiopterin on hepatic and renal damage after acute cadmium exposure in male rats

Dalia G Mostafa, Salwa Fares Ahmed, Ola A Hussein
Ultrastructural Pathology 2018 December 29, : 1-16

Cadmium (Cd) has been recognized as one of the most important environmental and industrial pollutants. This study investigated the impact of acute exposure to Cd on oxidative stress and the inflammatory marker interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the plasma of rats and the histological picture of liver and kidney, as well as to examine the potential protective effect of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4).

METHODS: Rats were divided into control group, Cd group that received a single intraperitoneal (i.p.) dose of 4 mg/kg b.w. of CdCl2 and BH4+ Cd group that received a single dose of BH4 (20 mg/kg, i.p.) and subsequently exposed to a single dose of Cd 24 h after the BH4 treatment.

RESULTS: Cd increased the plasma levels of hepatic enzymes (ALT and AST), urea, creatinine, malondialdehyde (MDA), and IL-6 and decreased the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Also, it induced histopathological alterations in the liver with severe degeneration, especially in centrilobular zones. Renal tubular epithelium showed vacuolated cytoplasm and dense nuclei. VEGF expression was mild. Ultrastuctural changes were seen in some renal tubules. The nuclei appeared distorted with electron dense chromatin. Mitochondria with destructed cristae were observed. BH4 pretreatment had protective effects, since it significantly reduced the levels of IL-6 and ameliorated the alteration in oxidative status biomarkers induced by Cd. Improvement of histopathological alterations was observed in Cd-groups. The nuclei were vesicular euchromatic, intact mitochondria and normal appearance of the filtration membrane. Moderate expression of VEGF was noted.

CONCLUSION: This study has provided clear evidence for the protective efficacy of BH4 against experimental Cd toxicity.


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