N-acetylcysteine and deferoxamine reduce pulmonary oxidative stress and inflammation in rats after coal dust exposure

Environ Res. 2005 Nov;99(3):355-60. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2005.03.005.


Coal dust inhalation induces oxidative damage and inflammatory infiltration on lung parenchyma. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC) administered alone or in combination with deferoxamine (DFX), significantly reduced the inflammatory infiltration and oxidative damage in the lungs of rats exposed to coal dust. Forty-two male Wistar rats (200-250 g) were exposed to the coal dust (3mg/0.5 mL saline, 3 days/week, for 3 weeks) by intratracheal instillation. The animals were randomly divided into three groups: saline 0.9% (n=8), supplemented with NAC (20mg/kg of body weight/day, intraperitoneal injection (i.p.)) (n=8), and supplemented with NAC (20 mg/kg of body weight/day, i.p.) plus DFX (20 mg/kg of body weight/week) (n=8). Control animals received only saline solution (0.5 mL). Lactate dehydrogenase activity and total cell number were determined in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. We determined lipid peroxidation and oxidative protein damage parameters and catalase and superoxide dismutase activities in the lungs of animals. Intratracheal instillation of coal dust in the lungs of rats led to an inflammatory response and induced significant oxidative damage. The administration of NAC alone or in association with DFX reduced the inflammatory response and the oxidative stress parameters in rats exposed to coal dust.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Coal*
  • Deferoxamine / pharmacology*
  • Dust
  • Free Radicals
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Siderophores / pharmacology*
  • Trachea


  • Coal
  • Dust
  • Free Radicals
  • Siderophores
  • Deferoxamine
  • Acetylcysteine