TOXIC EFFECTS OF CADMIUM AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH IRON ON THE LIVER AND SERUM OF WISTAR RATS
Objective: The study investigated the effect of cadmium (Cd) alone and Cd plus iron (Fe) combined on liver and serum of rats for a period of 5 weeks. Methods: Sixteen adult female rats were divided into four groups and designated as follows: Group A-control (rats exposed to exogenous Cd-free water/diet), Group B (rats exposed to Cd-tainted water/diet), Group C (rats exposed to Fe-tainted water/diet) and Group D (rats exposed to Cd and Fe-tainted water/diet). Results: At the end of 5 weeks of exposure, there was significant increase (p≤0.05) in serum cholesterol levels of rat exposed to Cd only and Fe alone relative to the control whereas a significant increase was observed in liver protein concentrations of rats exposed to Fe only when compared to the control and Cd only treated groups. The liver function test revealed increase in the activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in serum of rats exposed to Cd only. Conclusion: The findings suggest that iron has the capacity to ameliorate and reverse cadmium induced increase in the liver enzymes assayed in the serum. The presence of iron in Cd intoxicated water or diet offer protection against cadmium induced hepatotoxicity.
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