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Toxicol Lett. 2000 Aug 16;116(3):223-9.

Hemin pretreatment ameliorates aspects of the nephropathy induced by mercuric chloride in the rat.

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  • 1Department of Pathological Biochemistry, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 2-3-10 Kanda-surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, 101-0062, Tokyo, Japan.


Mercuric chloride (HgCl(2)) is known to be a nephrotoxicant. When HgCl(2) is administered into rats, acute renal failure (ARF) is induced. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is antioxidative enzyme and is known to play a protective role against the oxidative injury. To elucidate the cytoprotective role of HO-1 against the nephrotoxicant-induced ARF, we examined the effect of hemin, HO-1 inducer, on HgCl(2)-induced ARF. Subcutaneous administration of hemin (30 mg/kg body weight) into rats once a day for two successive days obviously induced HO-1 protein in the kidneys at 24 h after the last injection. Under this situation, when HgCl(2) (1 mg/kg body weight) was intraperitoneally injected into rats at 24 h after the last injection of hemin improved the serum creatinine (SCr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels, markers for renal injury, at 24 h after the HgCl(2) injection as compared with the control rats without hemin pretreatment (HgCl(2) treatment alone). This result was further confirmed by histopathological analysis. These findings strongly suggest that the preinduction of HO-1 ameliorates the subsequent HgCl(2)-induced acute renal injury.

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