Protective effects of dietary selenium and vitamin C in barium-induced cardiotoxicity
Several metals including barium (Ba) known as environmental pollutants provoke deleterious effects on human health. The present work pertains to the potential ability of selenium (Se) and/or vitamin C, used as nutritional supplements, to alleviate the toxic effects induced by barium chloride (BaCl2) in the heart of adult rats. Animals were randomly divided into seven groups of six each: group 1, serving as negative controls, received distilled water; group 2 received in their drinking water BaCl2 (67 ppm); group 3 received both Ba and Se (sodium selenite 0.5 mg kg−1 of diet); group 4 received both Ba and vitamin C (200 mg kg−1 bodyweight) via force feeding; group 5 received Ba, Se, and vitamin C; and groups 6 and 7, serving as positive controls, received either Se or vitamin C for 21 days. The exposure of rats to BaCl2 caused cardiotoxicity as monitored by an increase in malondialdehyde, hydrogen peroxide, and advanced oxidation protein product levels, a decrease in Na+-K+ adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), Mg2+ ATPase, and acetylcholinesterase activities and in antioxidant defense system (catalase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and nonprotein thiols). Plasma lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase activities, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein–cholesterol levels increased, while high-density lipoprotein–cholesterol level decreased. Coadministration of Se and/or vitamin C restored the parameters indicated above to near control values. The histopathological findings confirmed the biochemical results. Se and vitamin C may be a promising therapeutic strategy for Ba-induced heart injury.