The protective role of ascorbic acid in the hepatotoxicity of cadmium and mercury in rabbits

  • Shumaila Mumtaz
  • Shaukat AliEmail author
  • Rida Khan
  • Saiqa Andleeb
  • Mazhar Ulhaq
  • Muhammad Adeeb Khan
  • Hafiz Abdullah Shakir
Research Article


The liver is one of the vital and sensitive organs which are usually exposed against the toxicity of mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd). The main objective of the current study was to evaluate the potential toxicological effects of both Cd and Hg as individual and combined. Hepatotoxicity was evaluated by monitoring the biochemical parameters of the liver and their accumulation in the liver as well as therapeutic role of vitamin C in said toxicity in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). In this research, cadmium chloride (1.5 mg/kg), mercuric chloride (1.2 mg/kg), and vitamin C (150 mg/kg of body weight) were orally administered to treatment groups of the rabbits for 28 alternative days. Various biochemical parameters of the liver such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT), bilirubin, alanine aminotransferase (ALAT), total protein, and gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) were estimated using blood samples. Some biochemical parameters like ASAT, ALAT, LDH, GGT, and bilirubin were significantly elevated (P ≤ 0.001) in individual Cd and Hg treatment groups, while the level of total protein was found to be significantly declined. The effects of Cd and Hg in the presence of vitamin C on these biochemical parameters were low as compared to metals-treated groups. Similar results were found when rabbits were treated with co-administration of both metals and vitamin C. Accumulation of Cd and Hg found to be higher in the liver. However, chemoprevention and chemotreatment with vitamin C significantly (P ≤ 0.01) minimized the toxicological effects of both metals but not regained the accumulation similar to that of the control group. The findings of this study provide awareness on accumulation of metals in the liver in rabbits and their toxicity tested through biochemical parameters as well as the therapeutic role of vitamin C in such alterations.


CdCl2 HgCl2 Vitamin C Toxicity Metal accumulation Liver 



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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shumaila Mumtaz
    • 1
  • Shaukat Ali
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rida Khan
    • 1
  • Saiqa Andleeb
    • 1
  • Mazhar Ulhaq
    • 3
  • Muhammad Adeeb Khan
    • 1
  • Hafiz Abdullah Shakir
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyThe University of Azad Jammu and KashmirMuzaffarabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyGovernment College UniversityLahorePakistan
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Biomedical SciencesPMAS Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyUniversity of the PunjabLahorePakistan

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