Genetic and Histopathological Responses to Cadmium Toxicity in Rabbit's Kidney and Liver: Protection by Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Apr;170(2):320-9. doi: 10.1007/s12011-015-0491-4. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


This study aimed to examine the protective effects of ginger (G) on the genetic response induced by cadmium (Cd) and immunohistochemical expression of Caspase3 and MKI67 in the kidney and liver of rabbits. Male rabbits were divided into three groups; each group contains 10 animals: group (C) received basic diet and tap water for 12 weeks, the second group (Cd) received 200 mg/kg b.w CdCl2 in water for 12 weeks, group (Cd + G) was given 200 mg/kg b.w CdCl2 in water and 400 mg ginger/kg b.w in food for 12 weeks. Cd administration increased the activity of mRNA expression of the examined apoptotic (Caspase3), proliferation (MKI67), proto-oncogene (C-fos), and antioxidant (GST), while decreased the expression of anti-apoptotic (Bcl2). Ginger counteracted the effects of Cd in (Cd + G) group and downregulated the previously upregulated genes under Cd administration appeared in (Cd) group. The immunohistochemical expression of Caspase3 and MKI67 in the liver and kidney cells of the (C) group was shown very faint to negative reactions, strong staining in hepatocytes and the tubular epithelium in cadmium-treated group, while slight staining in some hepatocytes and tubular epithelium in co-administration with ginger in (Cd + G) group. In conclusion, ginger administration showed a protective effect against cadmium toxicity.

Keywords: Cadmium; Caspase3; Gene expression; Ginger protection; Immunohistochemistry; MKI67.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Cadmium Poisoning / metabolism
  • Cadmium Poisoning / pathology
  • Cadmium Poisoning / prevention & control*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Ginger*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rabbits


  • Cadmium