Comparative Hepatoprotective Effect of Vitamins A and E Against Gasoline Vapor Toxicity in Male and Female Rats

Friday Effiong Uboh, Patrick E. Ebong, Ime B. Umoh


Background: Plasma alanine transferase(ALT), aspartate transferase(AST), alpha-glutamyl transferase(GGT), and alkaline phosphatase(ALP) activities are known biomarkers in assessing hepatic functional integrity. A remarkable rise in the activities of these enzymes normally signifies hepatotoxicity of chemical agent(s) in the biological system. Exposure to 17.8 cm3h-1m-3 of PMS blend unleaded gasoline vapors (UGV) for 6 hr/day, 5 days/week for 20 weeks have been reported to cause hepatotoxicity in rats.

Methods: In this study, the comparative hepatoprotective effect of vitamins A (retinol) and E (alpha-tocopherol) against UGV-induced toxicity was assessed in male and female rats. Retinol and alpha-tocopherol at prophylactic dosage (400 and 200 IU/kg/day, respectively) were separately administered orally to the test rats concomitant with exposure to UGV in the last two weeks of the experiment.

Results: The results of this study indicated that exposure to UGV caused significant increase (P < 0.05) in the activities of serum ALT, AST, ALP, GGT and bilirubin in male and female rats. Oral administration of prophylactic doses of retinol and alpha-tocopherol produced a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in the activities of these parameters in male and female test rats, compared with the non-treated test rats; but insignificant increase(P >= 0.05), compared with the control. However, the hepatoprotective effect of alpha-tocopherol was observed to be more potent than that of retinol.

Conclusions: The result of this study demonstrated that the hepatoprotective potency of alpha-tocopherol against gasoline vapors toxicity was higher than that of retinol in male and female rats, although the female gender of the animal model responded to treatment with both vitamins better than the males. Hence, the work suggested the beneficial effects of both vitamins against hepatotoxicity in individuals frequently exposed to gasoline vapors.

Gastroenterol Res. 2009;2(5):295-302


Hepatoprotective; Gasoline vapors; Retinol; Alpha-tocopherol; Aminotransferases; Bilirubin

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