N-acetylcysteine protects the rat kidney against aspartame-induced oxidative stress

Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Oct;75 Suppl 1:S30. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.10.759. Epub 2014 Dec 10.


Long-term intake of aspartame at the acceptable daily ingestion dose causes oxidative stress in the rat kidney through the dysregulation of glutathione homeostasis. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) provides the cystein required for the production of GSH, being effective in treating disorders associated with oxidative stress. The aim of this research was to investigate the effects of NAC on the aspartame-induced oxidative stress in the rat kidney. The animals received aspartame by gavage for six weeks (40mg/kg). From the 5th week, NAC (1mmol/kg, via intraperitoneal) was injected for two weeks. Then, they were anaesthetized for blood sample and euthanized for the kidney collection. The blood was centrifuged at 1800g for 15min and the serum was separated for creatinine measurement. The tissue was homogenized in 1.15% KCl buffer and centrifuged at 700g for 10min at 4°C. The supernatant fraction obtained was used to the measurements of oxidative stress biomarkers. The creatinine levels were enhanced in the serum of aspartame-treated rats. NAC caused a reduction in the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, lipid hydroperoxides, carbonyl protein and hydrogen peroxide levels, which were increased in the kidney of aspartame-treated animals. Additionally, NAC caused an elevation in the glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities, total glutathione, ascorbic acid, and total reactive antioxidant potential levels, which were decreased in the kidney of aspartame-treated rats. In conclusion, NAC may be useful for the protection of the rat kidney against aspartame-induced oxidative stress.