Antioxidant enzyme activity and lipid peroxidation in liver of female rats co-exposed to lead and cadmium: Effects of vitamin E and Mn2+

Anilkumar Pillai, Sarita Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The oxidative status of liver of female rats exposed to lead acetate and cadmium acetate either alone or in combination at a dose of 0.05 mg/kg body wt intraperitoneally for 15 days was studied. After the administration of lead alone, the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) decreased in liver, whereas no changes were observed in catalase (CAT) activity, and glutathione (GSH) and thiobarbituric acid (TBARS) levels. Cadmium exposure and combined exposure to lead and cadmium led to decrease in GSH content and increased TBARS levels. Moreover, animals exposed to either cadmium alone or in combination with lead showed a decrease in SOD activity and an increase in CAT activity. The in vitro experiments showed that vitamin E failed to restore the antioxidant enzyme activities in metal treated postmitochondrial supernatant fraction of liver. But Mn2+ ions protected the mitochondria from lipid peroxidation and could completely restore Mn-superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) activity following metal intoxication. The results of this study indicate that despite the ability of lead and cadmium to induce oxidative stress the effect in liver is not intensified by combined exposure to both lead and cadmium. The observed changes in various oxidative stress parameters in the liver of rats co-exposed to lead and cadmium may result from an independent effect of lead and /cadmium and also from their interaction such as changes in metal accumulation and content of essential elements like Cu, Zn and Fe. These results suggest that when lead and cadmium are present together in similar concentrations, cadmium mediates major effects due to its more reactive nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-712
Number of pages6
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Cadmium
  • In vitro mechanism
  • Lead
  • Mn
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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