Protective effect of Nigella sativa seeds against lead-induced hepatorenal damage in male rats.
Pak J Biol Sci. 2007 Sep 1 ;10(17):2809-16. PMID: 19090181
Abdel-Razik H Farrag
Heavy metals are widely distributed in the environment and some of them occur in food, water, air and tissues even in the absence of occupational exposure. Among of these lead, (Pb) is a hazardous substance to human and animals. The present study was carried out to investigate the possible protective effect of co-administered Nigella sativa seeds on lead acetate-induced rats' toxicity in particularly on liver and kidney. Thirty-six male rats were divided into six groups, 6 rats each. The first group was served as a control, while the second group was fed on the basal diet with Nigella sativa addition, whereas the other groups contained lead acetate (10 and 20% of LD50) with and without Nigella sativa supplementation for six weeks. At the end of the feeding period, rats were fasted over night and anesthetized and blood and tissue samples were taken for biochemical and histopathological studies. The results of this study revealed that lead acetate caused significant elevations in AST, urea, creatinine, total cholesterol and triglycerides in serum. Lead treatment also produced significant decrease in serum total protein and albumin. Histopathological observations showed severe damage in the liver and kidneys. Its damaged areas were measured using Image analyzer. Combined treatment of lead-exposed animals with Nigella sativa showed marked improvement in both biochemical and histopathological findings as well as reduction in the damaged areas. These experimental results strongly indicate the protective effect of Nigella sativa against toxic effect of lead on liver and kidney tissues.