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In vivo and in vitro Effects of Cadmium on Adult Rat Brain Total Antioxidant Status, Acetylcholinesterase, (Na+,K+)-ATPase and Mg2+-ATPase Activities: Protection by L-Cysteine

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This study was undertaken in order to investigate: a) the short- and long-term in vivo effects of cadmium (Cd) on brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE), (Na+,K+)-ATPase and Mg2+-ATPase activities in adult rats, b) the concentration-dependent in vitro and in vivo (acute experiment) effects of Cd on the activity of those enzymes, c) the in vivo and in vitro effects of the antioxidant L-cysteine (Cys) on the above enzyme activities, and d) the evaluation of brain total antioxidant status after in vivo Cd, L-cysteine, or L-cysteine+Cd administration in rats. In vitro, CdSO4 inhibited pure and brain AChE in concentrations higher than 0.1 mM, while it activated by approximately 70% (P<0.001) brain Na+,K+-ATPase in concentrations up to 0.1 mM and inhibited its activity in higher concentrations. Mg2+-ATPase was not influenced up to 0.1 mM concentration, while it was inactivated (40%, P<0.001) in higher CdSO4 concentrations. A dose-response study of CdSO4 (1, 2 and 5 mg/kg once 8 hr before decapitation) revealed a dose-dependent decrease (−14 to −30%, P<0.001) of brain AChE activity, an increase of Na+,K+-ATPase activity (+47 to +200%, P<0.001) and an increase of Mg2+-ATPase only after the highest dose (5 mg/kg) in the short-term treatment of rats. Long-term Cd administration (1 mg/kg rat daily for 4 months) activated brain AChE and Na+,K+-ATPase about 50–65% (P<0.001) but not Mg2+-ATPase. Brain total antioxidant status was decreased by Cd (30%, P<0.01), while it was increased by L-cysteine or L-cysteine+Cd (50%, P<0.001) in the short-term in vivo treatment. L-cysteine reversed the enzymatic activity changes observed with Cd alone in the high-dose short-term in vivo treatment of rats, as well as the brain AChE inhibition induced by Cd in the in vitro experiments. These results indicate that: a) Cd can influence in a different way the examined enzyme activities after short- and long-term administration, b) Cd may modulate brain cholinergic mechanism(s), neural excitability and metabolic energy production, and c) L-cysteine can have a protective antioxidant effect on the oxidative stress of the brain induced by Cd.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Experimental Pharmacology, and 2: Department of Experimental Physiology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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