Effect of lycopene on nephrotoxicity induced by mercuric chloride in rats.Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2007 Jun; 100(6):398-402.BC
Oxidative stress is an important molecular mechanism for kidney injury in mercury poisoning. We studied lycopene, a potent carotenoid found in tomatoes due to its large antioxidant properties, and also evaluated the ability of lycopene to prevent HgCl(2) nephrotoxicity. Rats were injected with HgCl(2) (0 or 5 mg/kg body weight, subcutaneously) 6 hr after lycopene administration (0, 10, 25 or 50 mg/kg by gavage) and were killed 12 hr after HgCl(2) exposure. HgCl(2)-induced inhibition of delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase activity (approximately 35%) and increase of lipid peroxidation in kidney (approximately 37%) were prevented by lycopene. However, lycopene did not prevent the increase of plasma creatinine levels (approximately 123%) and renal tubular necrosis induced by HgCl(2). Glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities were enhanced (approximately 71% and approximately 41%), while superoxide dismutase activity was depressed (approximately 44%) in HgCl(2)-treated rats when compared to control and these effects were prevented by lycopene. Our results indicate that although lycopene did not prevent HgCl(2)-induced renal failure, it could play a beneficial role against HgCl(2) toxicity by preventing lipid peroxidation and changes in the activity of delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase and antioxidant enzymes.