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Drug Chem Toxicol. 2011 Oct;34(4):467-74. doi: 10.3109/01480545.2011.564179. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

N-acetylcysteine on oxidative damage in diabetic rats.

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Postgraduate Program of Pharmacology, Center of Healthy Sciences, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil.


N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a potent mucolitic agent and also an antioxidant. Its antioxidant action is due to its ability to stimulate reduced glutathione (GSH) synthesis, therefore maintaining intracellular levels. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of NAC administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) in a decreasing of oxidative tissue damage in the liver and kidney of alloxan-induced diabetic rats, especially on thiolic groups (nonproteic and proteic groups). Adult male Wistar rats (200-350 g) were used; diabetes was induced accordingly by a single i.p. injection of alloxan monohydrate, and the control group received a similar volume of the vehicle. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) biomarker (malondialdehyde; MDA), δ-ALA-D activity, GSH, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were quantified to assess the oxidative stress. All tests were performed in tissue homogenates. Creatinine, urea, aspartate transaminase, and alanine transaminase were determined by commercial kits, using serum samples. A significant decrease in LPO (i.e., hepatic and renal) and an increase in δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase activity, especially in the renal tissue, were observed. Also, NAC at 75 mg/kg showed more effective restoration of oxidative stress biomarkers than NAC at 25 mg/kg. Our findings suggest that NAC can be used as an antioxidant agent in diabetes, exhibiting modulatory action on the oxidative stress biomarkers analyzed in this work. Moreover, these findings can contribute to others' research, regarding the utilization of NAC to ALA-D activity restoration in the kidneys.

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