Protective effect of thymoquinone against lead-induced hepatic toxicity in rats.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Mar 14. Epub 2016 Mar 14. PMID: 26971798
Lead (Pb) intoxication is a worldwide health problem which frequently affects the liver. This study was carried out to investigate the potential protective effect of thymoquinone (TQ), the major active ingredient of volatile oil of Nigella sativa seeds, against Pb-induced liver damage. Adult male rats were randomized into four groups: Control group received no treatment, Pb group was exposed to 2000 ppm Pb acetate in drinking water, Pb-TQ group was cotreated with Pb plus TQ (5 mg/kg/day, per orally), and TQ group receiving only TQ. All treatments were applied for 5 weeks. Results indicated that Pb exposure increased hepatic Pb content, damaged hepatic histological structure (necrotic foci,hepatic strands disorganization, hypertrophied hepatocytes, cytoplasmic vacuolization, cytoplasmic loss, chromatin condensation, mononuclear cell infiltration, congestion, centrilobular swelling), and changed liver function investigated by plasma biochemical parameters (AST, ALT, ALP, γ-GT, LDH). Pb treatment also decreased total antioxidant status level and increased lipid peroxidation in the liver. Supplementation with TQ remarkably improved the Pb-induced adverse effects without significantly reducing the metal accumulation in the liver. In conclusion, our results indicate, for the first time, a protective effect of TQ against Pb-induced hepatotoxicity and suggest that this component might be clinically useful in Pb intoxication.