Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 257–264 | Cite as

N-acetylcysteine exposure on lead-induced lipid peroxidative damage and oxidative defense system in brain regions of rats

  • B. Nehru
  • S. S. Kanwar
Original Articles


Lead (Pb) is known to disrupt the pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance of tissues, which leads to biochemical and physiological dysfunction. Oxidative stress is considered a possible molecular mechanism involved in Pb neurotoxicity. Considering the vulnerability of the brain to oxidative stress under Pb neurotoxicity, this study investigated the effects of exposure of the thiol antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on lead-induced oxidative damage and lipid peroxidation in brain regions of the rat. Wister strain rats were exposed to lead in the form of lead acetate (20 mg/kg body wt/d) for a period of 2 wk and the effects of NAC on lead-induced neurotoxicity in rat brain regions were assessed by postadministration of NAC (160 mg/kg body wt/d) for a period of 3 wk. The lipid peroxidation byproduct, malondialdehyde (MDA) increased following lead exposure in both of the regions, and the antioxidant capacities of the cell in terms of the activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) was diminished. Following NAC treatment, lead-induced lipid peroxidation decreased and antioxidant enzyme activities improved, with CAT showing enhancement in the cerebral region only and SOD showing enhancements in the cerebellar region. Our result suggests that thiol-antioxidant supplementation following Pb exposure might enhance the reductive status of brain regions by arresting the lipid peroxidative damage in brain regions.

Index Entries

N-Acetylcysteine oxidative defense lipid peroxidative damage brain lead toxicity 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Nehru
    • 1
  • S. S. Kanwar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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