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Toxicol Ind Health. 2011 Jul;27(6):537-45. doi: 10.1177/0748233710393394. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Protective effects of zinc and selenium against benzene toxicity in rats.

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Environmental and Occupational Medicine Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.


The presented study investigates the protective role of zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) in attenuating benzene-induced toxicity in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with benzene (0.5 mL/kg body weight ip) and received a diet supplement containing Zn and Se. Several hematological and biochemical parameters (representing antioxidant status) were estimated. Histopathological examinations were performed. Results showed that food intake and body weight gain of benzene-injected rats were significantly lower than that of the control rats. Benzene-injected rats showed increased plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and decreased activity of: glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes, as well as reduced glutathione (GSH) when compared to the control group. Histopathological investigations revealed structural changes in benzene-injected rats' liver. Supplementation with Zn and Se resulted in a significant decrease in MDA, elevation in GSH, GSH-Px, SOD and catalase levels. This study shows that Zn and Se supplementation can improve the activity of antioxidant enzymes in rats and decrease the histological anomalies induced by benzene toxicity as well.

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