Toxic effects of nickel exposure on heart and liver of rats

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The role of air pollution as a health risk factor is of special interest. Numerous toxic pollutants, such as nickel, are being released to the environment as a result of combustion of fossil fuels, crude oil, and coal. Nickel in the atmosphere can be combined with other environmental pollutants, producing various nickel compounds, which have varying animal toxicity. A rat biossay validated for the identification of toxic effects of nickel revealed increased serum activities of total lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and alanine transaminase (ALT) in rats that received intratracheal injection of Ni2+ in .09% saline solution of NiCl2. The total LDH activity was also increased in the heart, and the isoenzyme pattern showed the LDH1/LDH2 ratio elevated to greater than 1. We conclude that intratracheal administration of nickel induced cardiac and hepatic damage. The development of cardiac and hepatic damage and of increased enzymes' activities was only demonstrated when nickel had accumulated in these tissues, indicating that nickel depot is essential to its toxicity. Intratracheal administration of NiCl2 induced changes in LDH and ALT activities.



nickel, air pollution, animal experiment, cardiotoxicity, heavy metal poisoning, liver toxicity, nonhuman, rat, risk factor, Animalia

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Toxic Substance Mechanisms, v. 16, n. 3, p. 251-258, 1997.