Lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme activity in different organs of mice exposed to low level of mercury

J Environ Sci Health B. 2001 Sep;36(5):687-97. doi: 10.1081/PFC-100106195.


The effects of mercuric chloride (Hg) on lipid peroxidation (LPO), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) levels in different organs of mice (CD-1) were evaluated. Mice were exposed (2 days/week) to 0.0 (control), 0.8 (low) and 8.0 (mid) and 80.0 (high) gHg/kg/day for 2 weeks. The high dose group was excluded from the study due to high mortality. LPO levels in kidney, testis and epididymus at low and mid doses; GR and GPx levels in testis at mid dose; SOD levels in brain and testis at both doses, liver and epididymus at mid dose; GSH levels in testis at both doses were significantly increased compared to their controls. However, the GR levels in kidney at both doses and in epididymus at mid dose; GPx levels in kidney and epididymus and SOD levels in kidney at both the doses; GSH levels in epididymus at mid dose were significantly decreased compared to their control. Body weight gain and food efficiency were significantly reduced (p<0.05) in mid dose. These results indicated that Hg treatment enhanced LPO in all tissues, but showed significant enhancement only in kidney, testis and epididymus suggesting that these organs were more susceptible to Hg toxicity. The increase in antioxidant enzyme levels in testis could be a mechanism protecting the cells against reactive oxygen species.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mercury / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Antioxidants
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Mercury
  • Glutathione