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Environ Anal Health Toxicol > Volume 36:2021 > Article
Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology 2021;36(4):e2021024-0. doi: https://doi.org/10.5620/eaht.2021024
N-Acetyl cysteine mitigates histopathological changes and inflammatory genes expressions in the liver of cadmium exposed rats
Jalal Aala1, Asghar Beigi Harchegani2 , Hanieh Akhlaghi Monsef3 , Zhaleh Mohsenifar4 , Pirooz Ebrahimi5 , Mohammad Reza Parvizi1
1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3Department of Genetics, Faculty of New Sciences, Medical Science Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
4Ayatollah Taleghani Educational Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5University Scientific Education and Research Network, Tehran, Iran
Corresponding Author: Mohammad Reza Parvizi ,Email: mparvizi@alumnus.tums.ac.ir
Received: January 8, 2021;  Accepted: September 23, 2021.
This study aimed to consider the expression of Nrf2, NLRP3 and caspase 1 genes, as well as oxidative stress, and the protective role of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) in the liver of rats treated with cadmium (Cd). Male rats were randomly divided into five groups including G1 (control), G2 (single dose of Cd), G3 (continuous dose of Cd), G4 (single dose of Cd + NAC), and G5 (continuous dose of Cd + NAC). Levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were measured. Expression of Nrf2, NLRP3 and caspase 1 genes was considered using RT-PCR. NAC treatments significantly improved TAC, but decreased MDA values in rats that exposed to continuous dose of Cd (p<0.05). Exposure to continuous dose of Cd caused a significant decrease in Nrf2 expression by 2.46-fold (p<0.001), but enhanced expression of NLRP3 and Caspase 1 genes by 3.13-fold and 3.16-fold), respectively (p<0.001). Compared to rats that treated to continuous dose of Cd, NAC supplementation enhanced the expression of Nrf2 by 1.67-fold (p<0.001) and reduced the expression of NLRP3 and Caspase 1 genes by 1.39-fold (p<0.001) and 1.58-fold (p<0.001), respectively. Down-regulation of Nrf2 and overexpression of NLRP3 and caspase 1 seems to be one of the main mechanisms of Cd toxicity on liver tissue. NAC protects liver tissue against Cd-induced oxidative injuries via enhancement of Nrf2 expression and reduction of NLRP3 and caspase 1 genes.
Keywords: Nrf2, NLRP3 and caspase 1, antioxidants, cadmium, N-Acetyl cysteine, oxidative stress
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