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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Oral administration of vitamin C and vitamin E ameliorates lead-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress in the rat brain

O A T Ebuehi, R A Ogedegbe, O M Ebuehi
Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine 2012, 22 (2): 85-90
23175903

BACKGROUND: Lead toxicity is a public health concern. Lead is one of the dispensable and non-biodegradable heavy metals and is toxic even at low concentrations.

OBJECTIVE: This study was to investigate the effect of oral administration of Vitamin C and Vitamin E on lead-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress in the brain of rats.

METHODS: Thirty Sprague-Dawley albino male albino rats (115.58 +/- 4.96g) were divided equally into five groups. The rats were fed rat chow and water ad libitum. Group 1 rats served as control and were orally administered 2ml saline every day for 7 weeks. Group 2 rats received orally 2ml lead acetate solution (60mg/kg body weight) every day for 7 weeks. Group3 rats received orally 2ml lead acetate solution (60mg/kg body weight) and vitamin C (40mg/kg body weight) every other day for 7 weeks. Group 4 rats received orally 2ml lead acetate solution (60mg/kg body weight) and vitamin E (150mg/kg body weight)every day for 7weeks. Group 5 received orally lead acetate solution at 60mg/kg body weight and vitamin C (40mg/kg body weight)and vitamin E (150mg/kg body weight) every other day for 7weeks. Three rats from each group were sacrificed after the fourth week. The remaining rats were sacrificed after the seventh week. Changes in body weight, liver weight, brain weight, activities of liver function enzymes (aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase(ALP) in the serum at week 4 and week 7 were assayed.The oxidative stress markers (reduced glutathione (GSH), nitric oxide(NO), malondialdehyde(MDA), levels, catalase(CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities) were determined in the brain of rats. Serum lead level of rats was also determined.

RESULTS: The lead Pb exposed rats caused a significant (p<0.01) increase in bioavailable lead in the blood (p<0.05) as compared to the control. AST, ALT and ALPactivities were significantly increased (p<0.05) in the serum of rats exposed to lead as compared to the control. NO and MDA levels were significantly increased (p<0.05) in the brain of rats exposed to lead, while GSH level, SOD and CAT activities were significantly reduced (p<0.05) in the brain of rats exposed to lead when compared with the control.

CONCLUSION: Data of the study indicate that oral administration of vitamin C and vitamin E significantly reduced the blood lead concentration, ameliorates the hepatic damage and significantly reduced the oxidative stress in the brain of rats.

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