• Obaiah Jamakala Division of Environmental Biology, Department of Zoology Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, 517502, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • A. Usha Rani Division of Environmental Biology, Department of Zoology Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati 517502, Andhra Pradesh, India.


Objective: The present study is carried out to know the mitigating role of zinc (Zn) and / or iron (Fe) supplementation on cadmium (Cd) induced toxicity in rats with special reference to metallothionein (MT) protein.

Methods: Wistar strain male albino rats were treated orally with Cd at a dose of 1/10th of LD50 / 48h (i. e. 22.5 mg/kg) for 7, 15 and 30 days (d) long sojourn. 15d Cd treated rats were then subjected to trace element supplementations of Zn (12mg/kg) and Fe (40mg/kg) individually and in combination for another 7, 15 and 30d time intervals. After specific time intervals, rats were decapitated and tissues like liver and kidney were isolated. The vital oxidative stress enzymes such as GST and GPx were assayed by using the standard methods in the test tissues. LPO levels were also measured by using the standard protocol. MTs, the metal binding proteins which are the first line of defense against Cd toxicity were quantified by using the standard methods in the test tissues.

Results: A significant (P < 0.05 level) elevation in LPO levels with decreased activity levels of GST and GPx were observed during Cd intoxication. With Zn and Fe supplementation, a significant reversal in the above said parameters were observed. MT protein levels were significantly elevated in the test tissues during Cd treatment and also after supplementation with Zn and / or Fe. Maximum MT protein synthesis was observed in 30d rat kidney under combined supplementation of both Zn and Fe.

Conclusion: The present study focuses on the mitigating role of trace elements Zn and Fe in reducing the Cd body burden from the selected tissues of rat. Supplementation with Zn and / or Fe envisages the therapeutic role of trace elements in combating the heavy metal, Cd insult.


Keywords: Cadmium, Oxidative stress enzymes, Zinc and iron supplementation, Metallothionein, Liver, Kidney, Rat.


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