Effects of sulforophane and curcumin on oxidative stress created by acute malathion toxicity in rats

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Jul;16 Suppl 3:144-8.


Background and objectives: Organophosphate insecticides (OPIs) are widely used in agriculture and horticulture for controlling insects in crops, ornamentals, lawns, fruits, and vegetables. But, there have not yet any study about effects of sulforophane (SFN) and curcumin (CUR) on the oxidative stress created by acute toxic effects of malathion (MAL) as an OPI often causing human and animal poisoning.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of SFN and CUR on the oxidative stress created in the lung, liver, and kidney tissues of rats by acute MAL toxicity.

Materials and methods: Thirty-six mature Sprague Dawley rats weighing 200-250 g were used. The rats were randomly divided into six groups: unmedicated control, SFN, CUR, MAL control, MAL + SFN, and MAL + CUR. Tissue samples were analyzed for glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and nitric oxide (NO) levels in the lung, liver, and kidney tissues. Biochemical parameters were measured colorimetrically by using a spectrophotometer.

Results: No statistically significantly difference was found when comparing the unmedicated control, SFN, and CUR groups. MAL significantly increased MDA levels in the liver and kidney tissues, but SFN and CUR these levels. MAL did significantly reduce the GSH levels, but SFN and CUR increased these levels by blocking the MAL effect in the liver tissues. Also, MAL significantly increased the NO levels, depending on the severity of the tissue damage, and SFN and CUR attenuated to NO levels and remained under the effect of MAL.

Conclusions: SFN and CUR, which showed similar effects, could be used to protect against the oxidative stress caused by acute malathion intoxication.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Colorimetry
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Insecticides / toxicity
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / pathology
  • Malathion / toxicity*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Sulfoxides
  • Thiocyanates / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Insecticides
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulfoxides
  • Thiocyanates
  • Nitric Oxide
  • sulforaphane
  • Curcumin
  • Malathion