Effects of zinc against mercury toxicity in female rats 12 and 48 hours after HgCl2 exposure

Main Article Content

Mariana Mesquita
Taíse F. Pedroso
Cláudia S. Oliveira
Vitor A. Oliveira
Rafael Francisco do Santos
Cezar Augusto Bizzi
Maria Ester Pereira


This work investigated the toxicity of inorganic mercury and zinc preventive effects in female rats sacrificed 12 or 48 h after HgCl2 exposure. Female Wistar rats were subcutaneously injected with ZnCl2 (27 mg/kg) or saline (0.9 %), and 24 h later they were exposed to HgCl2 (5 mg/kg) or saline (0.9 %). Rats sacrificed 12 hours after Hg administration presented an increase in kidney weight and a decrease in renal ascorbic acid levels. Zinc pretreatment prevented the renal weight increase. Rats sacrificed 48 h after Hg exposure presented a decrease in body weight gain, an increase in renal weight, a decrease in renal δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity, an increase in serum creatinine and urea levels, and a decrease in kidney total thiol levels. Zinc pretreatment partly prevented the decrease in body weight gain and increase in creatinine levels, in addition to totally preventing renal δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase inhibition. Mercury accumulation in the kidney and liver in both periods was observed after Hg administration. These results show the different Hg effects along the time of intoxication, and a considerably preventive effect of zinc against Hg toxicity.

Article Details

How to Cite
Mesquita, M., Pedroso, T. F., Oliveira, C. S., Oliveira, V. A., do Santos, R. F., Bizzi, C. A., & Pereira, M. E. (2016). Effects of zinc against mercury toxicity in female rats 12 and 48 hours after HgCl2 exposure. EXCLI Journal, 15, 256-267. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2015-709
Original articles