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Toxicology. 1990 Oct;64(1):1-17.

Nickel induced lipid peroxidation in the rat: correlation with nickel effect on antioxidant defense systems.

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Laboratory of Comparative Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, Frederick, MD 21701.


Lipid peroxidation (LPO) and alterations in cellular systems protecting against oxidative damage were determined in the liver, kidney and skeletal muscle of male F344/NCr rats, 1 h to 3 days after a single intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of 107 mumol nickel(II)acetate per kg body weight. At 3 h, when tissue nickel concentrations were highest, the following significant (at least, P less than 0.05) effects were observed: in kidney, increased LPO (by 43%), increased renal iron (by 24%), decreased catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities (both by 15%), decreased glutathione (GSH) concentration (by 20%), decreased glutathione reductase (GSSG-R) activity (by 10%), and increased glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity (by 44%); the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), as well as copper concentration, were not affected. In the liver, nickel effects included increased LPO (by 30%), decreased CAT and GSH-Px activities (both by 15%), decreased GSH level (by 33%), decreased GSSG-R activity (by 10%) and decreased GST activity (by 35%); SOD, GGT, copper, and iron remained unchanged. In muscle, nickel treatment decreased copper content (by 43%) and the SOD activity (by 30%) with no effects on other parameters. In blood, nickel had no effect on CAT and GSH-Px, but increased the activities of alanine-(ALT) and aspartate-(AST) transaminases to 330% and 240% of the background level, respectively. In conclusion, nickel treatment caused profound cell damage as indicated by increased LPO in liver and kidney and leakage of intracellular enzymes, ALT and AST to the blood. The time pattern of the resulting renal and hepatic LPO indicated a possible contribution to its magnitude from an increased concentration of nickel and concurrent inhibition of CAT, GSH-Px and GSSG-R, but not from increased iron or copper levels. The oxidative damage expressed as LPO was highest in the kidney and lowest in the muscle, which concurs with the corresponding ranking of nickel uptake by these tissues.

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