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Possible protective role of elderberry fruit lyophilizate against selected effects of cadmium and lead intoxication in Wistar rats


The objective of this study was the investigation whether the administration of the elderberry fruit lyophilizate under exposure to cadmium(Cd) and (Pb) lead may protect against some effects of their toxic action in Wistar rats. Rats were fed with diets containing Cd (Cd 0.025 mg/kg b.m.) or Pb (Pb 0.025 mg /kg b.m.) with the addition of the freeze-dried elderberry fruits (BEF) in the amount of 5 %. BEF added to the diet with Cd significantly decreased the activity of AST and ALT compared to the rats fed with the control diet with Cd (C + Cd). Activity of glutathione peroxidase was significantly higher in the blood of rats fed with BEF diet compared with animals fed with BEF + Cd, BEF + Pb, and C + Pb diets. Addition of BEF to the diets with Cd or Pb significantly decreased the uric acid concentration compared to the level of this parameter in the serum of animals fed with control diets containing Cd or Pb. The level of the Cd significantly decreased in the livers of rodents fed with BEF + Cd diet as compared to the concentration of this metal in the livers of rats fed with C + Cd diet. Elderberry fruit lyophilizate did not protect against the increased concentration of Cd or Pb in kidneys and bones of experimental rats; however, it improved the function of livers and kidneys, especially of rats intoxicated with Cd.

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Tolerable weekly intake


Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake


Elderberry fruits


fed the AIN-93G diet

C + Cd group:

fed the AIN-93G diet with cadmium

C + Pb group:

fed the AIN-93G diet with lead

BEF group:

fed diet containing 5 % of freeze-dried elderberry fruit

BEF group:

fed diet containing 5 % of freeze dry elderberry fruit and cadmium

BEF + Pb group:

fed diet containing 5 % of freeze dry elderberry fruit and lead


White blood cells


Red blood cells






Total cholesterol








Aspartate aminotransferase


Alanine aminotransferase


Tiobarbituric acid reactive substances


Glutathione reductase


Glutathione peroxidase


Heme oxygenase-1


Metal transporter protein 1


Metal transporter protein 1


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This work was financed by the Polish National Science Center (grant no. DEC-2011/01/B/NZ9/07177 “Bioactive components in fruits of some wild shrubs and their effect of laboratory rats”; duration of project: 2011–2014).

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Correspondence to Aneta Kopeć.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Kopeć, A., Sikora, E., Piątkowska, E. et al. Possible protective role of elderberry fruit lyophilizate against selected effects of cadmium and lead intoxication in Wistar rats. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 8837–8848 (2016).

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  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Elderberry fruit lyophilizate
  • Antioxidants
  • Rats