Sodium arsenite-induced cardiotoxicity in rats: protective role of p-coumaric acid, a common dietary polyphenol

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2013 May;23(4):255-62. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2012.748116. Epub 2013 Jan 15.


This study was performed to investigate the ameliorative role of p-coumaric acid against sodium arsenite-induced cardiotoxicity in rats. Sodium arsenite (5 mg/kg/b.wt) was orally administered once a day for 30 days to the animals to induce cardiotoxicity. After the experimental period, cardiotoxicity was assessed by estimating the levels of lipid peroxidation, anti-oxidant status (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase, glutathione reductase, total reduced glutathione, protein sulfyhydryl and non-protein sulfhydryl groups) and DNA fragmentation in the cardiac tissue of control and experimental rats. In addition, cardiac tissue specific serum markers (triacylglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol) in serum and histopathological changes in the cardiac tissue were also evaluated. From the results obtained in our study, sodium arsenite administration to the rats increased lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation, triacylglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, whereas antioxidant status and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were found to be reduced. However, p-coumaric acid (75 and100 mg/kg/b.wt) treatment orally once per day for 30 days, immediately before a daily administration of sodium arsenite protected the abnormal biochemical abnormalities observed in the cardiac tissue of sodium arsenite treated rats as evidenced by the cardiac histopathology. For comparison purpose, a standard antioxidant vitamin C (100 mg/kg/b.wt) was used. In conclusion, this study concluded that p-coumaric acid could be a promising candidate for protecting the sodium arsenite-induced cardiotoxicity in rats through its antioxidant character.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Arsenites / toxicity*
  • Coumaric Acids / administration & dosage
  • Coumaric Acids / therapeutic use*
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Diet
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage
  • Polyphenols / therapeutic use*
  • Propionates
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium Compounds / toxicity*


  • Antioxidants
  • Arsenites
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polyphenols
  • Propionates
  • Sodium Compounds
  • sodium arsenite
  • p-coumaric acid