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Microsc Res Tech. 2010 Jun;73(6):631-7. doi: 10.1002/jemt.20802.

Curcumin protects against hepatic and renal injuries mediated by inducible nitric oxide synthase during selenium-induced toxicity in Wistar rats.

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Department of Animal Health and Management, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, India.


The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of curcumin in protecting against selenium-induced toxicity in liver and kidney of Wistar rats. Light microscopy evaluation of selenium alone administered rats showed liver to be infiltrated with mononuclear cells, vacuolation, necrosis, and pronounced degeneration. Control liver sections showed a regular morphology of parenchymal cells with intact hepatocytes and sinusoids. Kidney from selenium alone administered rats showed vacuolar degeneration changes in the epithelial cells, cellular proliferation with fibrosis, thickening of capillary walls, and glomerular tuft atrophy. Such changes were also observed in rats administered with selenium and curcumin simultaneously and rats administered first with selenium and then curcumin 24 h later. Interestingly, such degenerative changes observed in liver and kidney induced by selenium were not seen in rats that were administered with curcumin first and selenium 24 h later. This clearly suggests the protective nature of curcumin against selenium toxicity. To understand the probable mechanism of action of curcumin, we analyzed inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression by immunohistochemistry, and the results showed an increased iNOS expression in selenium-alone induced liver and kidney. Such high iNOS levels were inhibited in liver and kidney of rats pretreated with curcumin and then with selenium 24 h later. Based on the histological results, it can be concluded that curcumin functions as a protective agent against selenium-induced toxicity in liver as well as kidney, and this action is probably by the regulatory role of curcumin on iNOS expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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