, Volume 146, Issue 2, pp 213-223
Date: 03 Nov 2011

Effects of Lycopene and Proanthocyanidins on Hepatotoxicity Induced by Mercuric Chloride in Rats

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Abstract

To evaluate the protective potential of lycopene (Lyc) and proanthocyanidins (PCs) against mercuric chloride (HgCl2)-induced hepatotoxicity, the study focused on the mechanism of oxidative stress. Firstly, the rats were subcutaneously (s.c.) injected with 0, 2.2, 4.4, and 8.8 μmol/kg HgCl2. Additionally, 40 mg/kg Lyc and 450 mg/kg PCs were given to the rats intragastrically (i.g.) before exposure to 8.8 μmol/kg HgCl2. Then, body weight, liver weight coefficient, mercury (Hg) contents, histological feature, ultrastructure, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS), glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and malondialdehyde (MDA) in the liver were measured. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and alanine transaminase (ALT) in serum were determined. After exposure to different concentrations of HgCl2,it was found that Hg contents, pathological and ultrastructure injury, activities of LDH and ALT, apoptosis, and levels of ROS, GSH, and MDA increased and the activities of SOD and GSH-Px decreased in a concentration-dependent manner. Further investigation found that pretreatment with Lyc and PCs inhibited ROS production, protected antioxidant enzymes, and reversed hepatotoxicity. We concluded that Lyc and PCs had hepatoprotective effects on HgCl2-induced toxicity by antagonizing oxidative stress in rat liver.