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J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2000;14(5):238-43.

Role of beta-carotene in ameliorating the cadmium-induced oxidative stress in rat brain and testis.

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Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Egypt.


The role of oxidative stress in chronic cadmium (Cd) toxicity and its prevention by cotreatment with beta-carotene was investigated. Adult male rats were intragastrically administered 2 mg CdCl2/kg body weight three times a week intragastrically for 3 and 6 weeks. Brain and testicular thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) was elevated after 3 and 6 weeks of Cd administration, indicating increased lipid peroxidation (LPO) and oxidative stress. Cellular damage was indicated by inhibition of adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity and increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in brain and testicular tissues. Chronic Cd administration resulted in a decline in glutathione (GSH) content and a decrease of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity in both organs. Administration of beta-carotene (250 IU/kg i.g.) concurrent with Cd ameliorated Cd-induced LPO. The brain and testicular antioxidants, SOD, GST, and GSH, decreased by Cd alone, were restored by beta-carotene cotreatment. Concurrent treatment with beta-carotene also ameliorated the decrease in ATPase activity and the increase in LDH activity in brain and testis of Cd-treated rats, indicating a prophylactic action of beta-carotene on Cd toxicity. Therefore, the results indicate that the nutritional antioxidant beta-carotene ameliorated oxidative stress and the loss of cellular antioxidants and suggest that beta-carotene may control Cd-induced brain and testicular toxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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