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Globally used pesticides contains zinc phosphide (ZnP) which are toxic. This present study was carried out to investigate the potency of bioactive curcumin in ameliorating the toxicity of zinc phosphide on biochemical enzymes present in kidney and liver of Wistar rats. A total of 30 (120–150 g) male adult Wistar rats were used. Experimental animals were divided into five groups and treated as follows for a period of 21 days: Group I rats, serving as the control, orally received 1 ml/kg body weight of corn oil with administration of same volume of saline. Group II rats were orally administered Zinc phosphide at a dose of 4.57 mg/kg body weight (one-tenth LD50) in corn oil. Group III rats orally received curcumin at a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight. Groups IV and V rats were orally administered curcumin at graded doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight respectively, 2 hours before administration of Zinc phosphide. At the end of the time interval, experimental animals were anesthesized with diethylether and organs (kidney and liver) were harvested for biochemical assays. The oral administration of Zinc phosphide at 4.57 mg/kg body weight for 21 days resulted in a significant increase in hepatic and nephridial malondialdehyde. This index of lipid peroxidation, was accompanied by decreased activity of the antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase) followed by a drastic reduction in the non-enzymatic antioxidant indices of reduced glutathione when compared to control. Pre-administration of Curcumin significantly ameliorated zinc phosphide-induced hepatic and nephrotic effects by subduing oxidative stress indices and improving antioxidant status. The result of the present study shows that curcumin has a protective effect against zinc phosphide induced liver and kidney damage in male Wistar rats.
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