Protective effects of thymoquinone and diallyl sulphide against malathion-induced toxicity in rats

  • Mohamed M. Abdel-DaimEmail author
  • Abdelrahman Ibrahim Abushouk
  • Simona G. Bungău
  • May Bin-Jumah
  • Attalla F. El-kott
  • Ali A. Shati
  • Lotfi Aleya
  • Saad Alkahtani
Research Article


Malathion is a potent organophosphate insecticide that inhibits acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme. Our experimental objective was to investigate the beneficial effects of diallyl sulphide (DAS) and thymoquinone (TQ) against malathion-induced oxidative stress in rat cerebral, hepatic, and renal tissues. For 30 days, rats received corn oil alone (negative control) or malathion by intragastric gavage (200 mg/kg daily), either alone (positive control) or combined with oral DAS (200 mg/kg daily) or TQ (10 mg/kg daily) (treatment groups). Later, blood samples were collected via direct cardiac puncture and tissue samples were obtained for biochemical analysis. Malathion administration was associated with significant increases (p < 0.05) in the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, γ-glutamyl transferase, cholesterol, urea, creatinine, and 8-OHdG (DNA damage biomarker), as well as significant (p < 0.05) decreases in the serum levels of total proteins, albumin, triglycerides, and AChE. Moreover, it significantly increased the tissue concentrations of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide and reduced tissue glutathione concentration and activities of antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase). Treatment of malathion-intoxicated rats with DAS or TQ significantly minimized these biochemical and oxidative effects with more frequent reversal to normal ranges of serum biomarkers, tissue oxidative markers, and antioxidant enzymes in the TQ group. In conclusion, treatment with DAS or TQ ameliorated the biochemical and oxidative effects of malathion, probably through reducing the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen radicals, as well as enhancing the antioxidant defense mechanisms.


Organophosphates Malathion DNA damage Nigella sativa Thymoquinone Diallyl sulphide Antioxidants 



Acetylcholine esterase


Alanine aminotransferase


Alkaline phosphatase


Aspartate aminotransferase




Diallyl sulphide


Gamma-glutamyl transferase




Glutathione peroxidase


Lactate dehydrogenase




Nitric oxide






Superoxide dismutase





This research was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University through the Fast-track Research Funding Program. The authors extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Khalid University, Abha, KSA, for funding this work under grant number (G.R.P.-248-39).

Funding information

This research was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University through the Fast-track Research Funding Program. The authors extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Khalid University, Abha, KSA, for funding this work under grant number (G.R.P.-248-39).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed M. Abdel-Daim
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Abdelrahman Ibrahim Abushouk
    • 3
  • Simona G. Bungău
    • 4
  • May Bin-Jumah
    • 5
  • Attalla F. El-kott
    • 6
    • 7
  • Ali A. Shati
    • 6
  • Lotfi Aleya
    • 8
  • Saad Alkahtani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineSuez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine & PharmacyUniversity of OradeaOradeaRomania
  5. 5.Department of Biology, College of SciencePrincess Nourah bint Abdulrahman UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.Biology Department, College of ScienceKing Khalid UniversityAbhaSaudi Arabia
  7. 7.Zoology Department, College of ScienceDamanhour UniversityDamanhourEgypt
  8. 8.Chrono-Environnement Laboratory, UMR CNRS 6249Bourgogne Franche-Comté UniversityBesançon CedexFrance

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