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Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2011 Sep;63(6):553-61. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2010.04.007. Epub 2010 May 15.

Protective effects of selenium on methimazole nephrotoxicity in adult rats and their offspring.

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Animal Physiology Laboratory, Faculty of Science, BP1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia.


This study aims to investigate the improving effects of selenium on methimazole-induced kidney impairments in adult rats and their pups. The animals were randomly divided into four groups of six each: group I served as control which received standard diet; group II received only methimazole in drinking water as 250 mg/l; group III received both methimazole (250 mg/l, orally) and selenium (0.5 mg/kg of diet); group IV served as a positive control and received selenium (0.5 mg/kg of diet) as sodium selenite (Na(2)SeO(3)). Treatments were started from the 14th day of pregnancy until day 14 after delivery. In the methimazole-treated group, body and absolute kidney weights decreased in pups and their mothers when compared to control. Daily urine volume, plasma creatinine levels were higher, while urinary levels were lower than in control. Besides, antioxidant enzyme activities, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase decreased. Lipid peroxidation recorded an increase revealed by high kidney malondialdehyde levels, while those of plasma and urinary uric acid showed a significant decline. Methimazole-treated rat kidneys exhibited leucocytic infiltrations, vascular congestion and narrowed Bowman's space. Co-administration of selenium through diet improved all the parameters cited above in adult rats and their progeny. Nevertheless, the distorted histoarchitecture in rat kidney was alleviated by selenium treatment. It can then be concluded that selenium is an important protective element that may be used as a dietary supplement against kidney impairments.

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