2016 Volume 39 Issue 6 Pages 1042-1046
Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is commonly used as a chemical inducer of experimental liver injury. In addition, many studies showed that CCl4 can induce kidney damage. In the current study, we evaluated the protective effect of zinc (Zn) against CCl4-induced nephrotoxicity. We hypothesized that this protective effect would result from the ability of Zn to serve as an inducer of metallothionein (MT), a known endogenous scavenger of free radicals. We administered Zn (as ZnSO4) 50 mg/kg subcutaneously once daily for 3 successive days prior to a single intraperitoneal administration of CCl4 4 g/kg in male ddY mice. Our results showed that Zn pretreatment significantly decreased creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels and reduced renal histopathological damage at 6 h post-CCl4 injection, observations consistent with enhanced antioxidative activity in the kidney. Moreover, kidney MT levels in the Zn+CCl4-treated group decreased by greater than 70% compared with levels in the Zn-alone group, implying that MT was consumed by CCl4-induced radicals. These findings suggest that prophylaxis with Zn protects mice from CCl4-induced acute nephrotoxicity, presumably by induction of MT, which in turn scavenges radicals induced by CCl4 exposure.