Protective effect of N-acetylcysteine on experimental chronic lead nephrotoxicity in immature female rats.
Author(s): Wang L, Wang Z, Liu J
Affiliation(s): College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, China. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2010-07, Hum Exp Toxicol., 29(7):581-91. Epub 2010 Jan 22.
Oxidative stress plays a key role in lead (Pb)-induced nephrotoxicity. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a potent oxygen free radicals scavenger and a metal chelator. In the present study, female Sprague-Dawley rats received PbAc(2) (300 mg/L, via drinking water) and/or NAC (100 mg/kg/day, by intraperitoneal injection) to investigate the protective effect of NAC on Pb-induced renal damage and oxidative stress as well as its mechanism of action. Renal toxicity was evaluated by measuring urinary excretion of total protein, beta(2)-microglobulin, albumin and urinary enzyme markers of tubular necrosis, as well as serum urea nitrogen level. Activities of antioxidant enzymes, contents of glutathione and malondialdehyde in kidney were also measured. Renal cell damage was assessed by electron microscopy. Animals that received both Pb and NAC showed a better renal function than those receiving Pb alone. Lead-induced tubular lesions and mitochondrial damage were markedly reduced in rats that also received NAC. Also, NAC significantly reduced the levels of lipid peroxidation and markedly restored the enzymic and non-enzymatic antioxidants levels in kidney of Pb-treated rats. Moreover, NAC administration significantly increased urinary Pb excretion and decreased its level in the serum and kidney. In conclusion, NAC treatment prevents renal tubular damage induced by chronic Pb administration, most probably through its antioxidant properties and chelating ability.