Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 122–132 | Cite as

Arsenic-Induced Antioxidant Depletion, Oxidative DNA Breakage, and Tissue Damages are Prevented by the Combined Action of Folate and Vitamin B12

  • Nirmallya Acharyya
  • Bimal Deb
  • Sandip Chattopadhyay
  • Smarajit Maiti


Arsenic is a grade I human carcinogen. It acts by disrupting one-carbon (1C) metabolism and cellular methyl (−CH3) pool. The −CH3 group helps in arsenic disposition and detoxification of the biological systems. Vitamin B12 and folate, the key promoters of 1C metabolism were tested recently (daily 0.07 and 4.0 μg, respectively/100 g b.w. of rat for 28 days) to evaluate their combined efficacy in the protection from mutagenic DNA-breakage and tissue damages. The selected tissues like intestine (first-pass site), liver (major xenobiotic metabolizer) and lung (major arsenic accumulator) were collected from arsenic-ingested (0.6 ppm/same schedule) female rats. The hemo-toxicity and liver and kidney functions were monitored. Our earlier studies on arsenic-exposed humans can correlate carcinogenesis with DNA damage. Here, we demonstrate that the supplementation of physiological/therapeutic dose of vitamin B12 and folate protected the rodents significantly from arsenic-induced DNA damage (DNA fragmentation and comet assay) and hepatic and renal tissue degeneration (histo-architecture, HE staining). The level of arsenic-induced free-radical products (TBARS and conjugated diene) was significantly declined by the restored actions of several antioxidants viz. urate, thiol, catalase, xanthine oxidase, lactoperoxidase, and superoxide dismutase in the tissues of vitamin-supplemented group. The alkaline phosphatase, transaminases, urea and creatinine (hepatic and kidney toxicity marker), and lactate dehydrogenase (tissue degeneration marker) were significantly impaired in the arsenic-fed group. But a significant protection was evident in the vitamin-supplemented group. In conclusion, the combined action of folate and B12 results in the restitution in the 1C metabolic pathway and cellular methyl pool. The cumulative outcome from the enhanced arsenic methylation and antioxidative capacity was protective against arsenic induced mutagenic DNA breakages and tissue damages.


Arsenic Antioxidant systems DNA breakage Vitamin B12 Folate 


Conflict of Interest

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interests with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Source of Funding



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nirmallya Acharyya
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bimal Deb
    • 3
  • Sandip Chattopadhyay
    • 3
  • Smarajit Maiti
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryCell and Molecular Therapeutics Laboratory, Oriental Institute of Science and TechnologyVidyasagar UniversityMidnaporeIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Oriental Institute of Science and TechnologyVidyasagar UniversityMidnaporeIndia
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science and Management, (UGC Innovative Department)Vidyasagar UniversityMidnaporeIndia
  4. 4.Epidemiology and Human Health DivisionAgricure Biotech Research SocietyMidnaporeIndia

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