Protective effects of ethyl pyruvate treatment on paraquat-intoxicated rats

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2008 Jan;27(1):49-54. doi: 10.1177/0960327108088976.


Although, numerous studies have attempted to reduce the oxygen radical injury induced by the antioxidants in paraquat intoxication, these antioxidant therapies have showed few survival benefits. Ethyl pyruvate (EP) may function as an effective scavenger of oxygen radicals, an anti-inflammatory agent and an energy source in many ischemia reperfusion models. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of EP on the lung and the liver tissues in paraquat-intoxicated rats. Rats were randomly given either a low (2 mg/kg i.p.) or high (40 mg/kg i.p.) EP dose, 30 min before or 1 h after paraquat (50 mg/kg i.p.) administration, and subsequently killed at 6 and 24 h. Glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of the lungs and the livers, and plasma nitric oxide (NO) concentrations were measured. Pretreatment of EP significantly decreased the MDA level in the lung and the liver tissues. EP also significantly decreased plasma NO concentrations at 6 h. EP pretreatment, however, failed to show significant change in GSH concentration. In post-treatment of EP, MDA levels in the lung tissue and plasma NO levels were significantly decreased. In conclusion, EP decreased the lipid peroxidation and seemed to exert an anti-inflammatory action in the paraquat intoxication rat model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal*
  • Antioxidants*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Herbicides / poisoning*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Paraquat / poisoning*
  • Pyruvates / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antioxidants
  • Herbicides
  • Interleukin-6
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Pyruvates
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Glutathione
  • Paraquat