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Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2010 Jan;29(1):70-8. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2009.10.003. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Role of vitamin E in preventing acute mercury toxicity in rat.

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Toxicokinetics Section and Petroleum Toxicology Division, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (Formerly: Industrial Toxicology Research Centre) [Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India], Post Box 80, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, India.


We have examined the effect of both pre- and post-treatment of vitamin E on mercury induced acute toxicity in rats. Mercury (12μmol/kg b.w., single intraperitoneal injection) resulted in oxidative injury and metallothionein mRNA expression together with alterations in tissue histology and accumulation of mercury in the body organs. The ameliorating potential of vitamin E (24μmol/kg b.w., single intraperitoneal injection) was observed in mercury administered rats. Our findings indicate that vitamin E provides complete protection from mercury toxicity in the liver with both pre- and post-treatments. As mercury is nephrotoxic and neurotoxic, it is interesting to note that post-treatment of vitamin E showed more protection in the kidney compared to pre-treatment. In brain tissue, partial protection was observed on oxidative stress parameters. Our results thus suggest that post-treatment with vitamin E could be more beneficial than pre- treatment in mercury intoxication.


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