The present study aimed to investigate the protective role of capsaicin in a rat model of 2,3,7,8-tetracholorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced toxicity. Exposure to TCDD which is an environmental toxicant causes severe toxic effects in the animal and human tissues. Therefore, the potential protective effect of capsaicin in TCDD-induced organ damage was investigated in rats by measuring thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) level, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and glutathione (GSH) level in the heart, liver, and kidney tissues for oxidant/antioxidant balance. Thirty-two healthy adults (250-300 g weight and 3-4 months old) male Wistar albino rats were randomly distributed into four equal groups (n = 8): Control, CAP, TCDD, TCDD + CAP. A dose of 2 μg/kg TCDD or a dose of 25 mg/kg capsaicin were dissolved in corn oil and orally administered to the rats for 30 days. The results indicated that TCDD-induced oxidative stress by increasing the level of TBARS and by decreasing the levels of GSH, and SOD activity in the tissues of rats. However, capsaicin treatment was significantly decreased TBARS levels and was significantly increased GSH level and SOD activity (p < 0.05). In addition, capsaicin (25 mg/kg) significantly attenuated TCDD-induced histopathological alteration associated with oxidative stress in the heart, liver, and kidney tissues (p < 0.05). As capsaicin regulates oxidative imbalance and attenuates histopathological alterations in the rat tissues, it may be preventing agents in TCDD toxicity.
Keywords: Capsaicin; TCDD; dioxin; oxidative damage; rat.