Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 12, pp 12459–12469 | Cite as

Arsenic exposure intensifies glycogen nephrosis in diabetic rats

  • Marcela Nascimento Sertorio
  • Ana Cláudia Ferreira Souza
  • Daniel Silva Sena Bastos
  • Felipe Couto Santos
  • Luiz Otávio Guimarães Ervilha
  • Kenner Morais Fernandes
  • Leandro Licursi de Oliveira
  • Mariana Machado-NevesEmail author
Research Article


It is known that either arsenic exposure or diabetes can impact renal function. However, it is unclear how these combined factors may influence kidney functions. Therefore, we evaluated morphological, functional, and oxidative parameters in the kidney of diabetic rats exposed to arsenic. Healthy male Wistar rats and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were exposed to 0 and 10 mg/L arsenate through drinking water for 40 days. Renal tissue was assessed using morphometry, mitosis and apoptosis markers, mineral proportion, oxidative stress markers, as well as the activity of antioxidant enzymes and membrane-bound adenosine triphosphatases. Arsenate intake altered glucose levels in healthy animals, but it did not reach hyperglycemic conditions. In diabetic animals, arsenate led to a remarkable increase of glycogen nephrosis in distal tubules. In these animals, additionally, the activity of catalase and glutathione S-transferase, besides the proportion of Fe, Cu, and K in renal tissue, was altered. Nevertheless, arsenate did not accumulate in the kidney and did not impact on other parameters previously altered by diabetes, including levels of malondialdehyde, Na, urea, creatinine, and apoptosis and mitosis markers. In conclusion, besides the intensification of glycogen nephrosis, the kidney was able to handle arsenate toxicity at this point, preventing arsenic deposition in the exposed groups and the impairment of renal function.


Arsenate Diabetes Kidney Glycogen nephrosis Nephrotoxicity Toxicologic pathology Environmental pollution 



The authors are grateful to Bioclin for kindly providing biochemical kits used in this study and Núcleo de Microscopia e Microanálise at Federal University of Viçosa for the assistance in energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis.

Author contributions

MNS, ACFS, and MM-N designed the research study. MNS, ACFS, DSSB, FCS, LOGE, and KMF performed the experiments. MNS analyzed the data, prepared the figures, and wrote the manuscript. ACFS, LLO, and MM-N contributed to discussion and reviewed the manuscript critically. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (master fellowship to MNS), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG; grant number APQ-02514-16 to MMN), and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq; grant number 448455/2014-5 to MMN and Postdoctoral fellowship 150333/2018-8 to ACFS).

Compliance with ethical standards

The use of animals for this study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Animal Use at Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil (protocol 61/2016). The experiment was conducted in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This study was based on the dissertation entitled “Renal parameters in diabetic rats exposed to arsenic” by MNS at Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, 2018.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcela Nascimento Sertorio
    • 1
  • Ana Cláudia Ferreira Souza
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel Silva Sena Bastos
    • 1
  • Felipe Couto Santos
    • 1
  • Luiz Otávio Guimarães Ervilha
    • 1
  • Kenner Morais Fernandes
    • 1
  • Leandro Licursi de Oliveira
    • 1
  • Mariana Machado-Neves
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of General BiologyFederal University of ViçosaVicosaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Animal ScienceFederal University of ViçosaVicosaBrazil

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