Protocatechuic acid mitigates cadmium-induced neurotoxicity in rats: Role of oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis.

Author(s) Olayan, E.M.Al; Aloufi, A.S.; AlAmri, O.D.; El-Habit, O.H.; Moneim, A.E.Abdel
Journal Sci Total Environ
Date Published 2020 Jun 25

Environmental and occupational exposure to heavy metals, including cadmium (Cd), is associated with extremely adverse impacts to living systems. Antioxidant agents are suggested to eliminate Cd intoxication. In this paper, we investigated the potential neuroprotective effect of protocatechuic acid (PCA) against Cd-induced neuronal damage in rats. Adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into control, PCA (100 mg/kg)-treated, CdCl (6.5 mg/kg)-treated, and PCA and Cd treatment groups. Pre-treatment with PCA significantly reduced Cd concentrations and increased cortical acetylcholinesterase activity and brain derived neurotrophic factor. Additionally, PCA also prevented CdCl-induced oxidative stress in the cortical tissue by preventing lipid peroxidation and the formation of nitric oxide (NO), and significantly enhancing antioxidant enzymes. Molecularly, PCA significantly up-regulated the antioxidant gene expression (Sod2, Cat, Gpx1, and Gsr) that was down-regulated by Cd. It should be noted that this effect was achieved by targeting the nuclear-related factor 2 (Nfe2l2) mRNA expression. PCA also prevented the Cd-induced inflammation by reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β. Moreover, PCA supplementation relieved the Cd-induced neuronal death by increasing Bcl-2 and decreasing Bax and Cas-3 levels in the cortical tissue. The improvement of the cortical tissue histopathology by PCA confirmed the biochemical and molecular data. Collectively, our findings indicate that PCA can counteract Cd-induced cortical toxicity by enhancing the antioxidant defense system and suppressing inflammation and apoptosis.

DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137969
ISSN 1879-1026
Citation Sci Total Environ. 2020;723:137969.