• Fariha Qureshi
  • Mohammad Tahir
  • Waqas Sami


Background: Arsenic is a teratogenic agent present in the environment as oxides and arsenate andhumans are exposed to it through contaminated drinking water, food, soil and air. This investigationwas undertaken to evaluate protective role of Vitamin C and E against teratogenic injury produced bysodium arsenate in developing kidney of the mouse. Methods: Twenty-four pregnant albino mice ofBALB/c strain, were randomly divided into 4 groups of 6 each: A1, A2, A3 and A4. Group A1 served asthe control and received weight related distilled water by intra-peritoneal (I/P) injection, group A2 wasgiven a single doses of 35 mg/kg on 8th GD whereas groups A3 and A4 were treated with Vitamin C andE by IP injection, 9 mg/kg/day and 15 mg/kg/day respectively, starting from 8th day and continued forthe rest of the pregnancy period. The foetal kidneys were weighed and histological studies carried outincluding micrometry on different components of nephron. Results: Sodium arsenate toxicitymanifested as an increase in weight of the kidneys, wider nephrogenic zone and significant reduction inthe mean of number of mature renal corpuscles as compared to the control group (p<0.000). There weremoderate to severe necrotic and degenerative changes in proximal and distal convoluted tubules;glomeruli were hypercellular, the Bowman’s spaces were obliterated. There was a statisticallysignificant difference in mean diameter of renal corpuscles of group A2 when compared with groupsA1, A3 and A4, (p<0.000). Conclusions: The findings implied that groups receiving Vitamin C and Ealong with sodium arsenate showed an overall improvement in all parameters, indicating the protectiverole of Vitamin C and E against arsenic induced teratogenicity in developing kidney and are safe to useduring pregnancy without deleterious effect on human conspectuses in arsenic exposed areas.Keywords: Arsenic, teratogenic, ascorbic acid, nephrogenesis.


Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Foetotoxic

evaluations of environmental agents. New Delhi: National

Pediculosis Association; 2006.

Caravati EM. Arsenic and Arsine Gas. In: Dart RC, editor.

Medical Toxicology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and

Wilkins;2003.p. 1393–1400.

MSDS. Sodium Arsenate Heptahydrate. USA: Mallinckrodt

Baker; 2003.

Patrick L. Toxic Metals and Antioxidants: Part II. The Role

of Antioxidants in Arsenic and Cadmium Toxicity.

Alternative Medicine Review 2003;8(2):106–28.

Ratnaike RN. Acute and chronic arsenic toxicity. Postgrad

Med J 2003;79:391–6.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Arsenic Compounds.

Air Toxic Website, 2005.

Krogt PVD. Arsenicum Arsenic. Elementymol Elements


Milton AH, Smith W, Rahman B, Hasan Z, Kulsum U, Dear

K et al. Chronic Arsenic Exposure and Adverse Pregnancy

Outcomes in Bangladesh. Epidemiology 2005;16(1):82–6.

Waalkes MP, Ward JM, Diwan BA. Induction of tumors of

the liver, lung, ovary and adrenal in adult mice after brief

maternal gestational exposure to inorganic arsenic:

promotional effects of postnatal phorbol ester exposure on

hepatic and pulmonary, but not dermal cancers

Carcinogenesis 2004;25:133–41.

Milton AH, Hasan Z, Shahidullah SM, Sharmin S, Jakariya

MD, Rahman M et al. Association between nutritional status

and arsenicosis due to chronic arsenic exposure in

Bangladesh. Int J Environ Health Res 2004;14(2):99–108.

Mead MN. Arsenic: In Search of an Antidote to a Global

Poison. Environ Health Perspect 2005;113(6):A378–86.

J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2009;21(4) 69

Fresh water and Toxic Programme, WWF-Pakistan. Pakistan’s

Waters at Risk. Water and Health Related Issues in Pakistan and

Key Recommendations. Feb 2007:

Alam MZ, Rahman MM. Accumulation of Arsenic in Rice

Plant from Arsenic Contaminated Irrigation Water and Effect

on Nutrient Content. In: Ahmed F, Ali MA, Adeel Z, editors.

BUET-UNU International Symposium of Fate of Arsenic In

The Environment;2003 Sep23; Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Ahmad SA, Sayed MH, Barua S, Khan MH, Faruquee MH,

Jalil A, et al. Arsenic in Drinking Water and Pregnancy

Outcomes. Environ Health Perspect 2001;109(6):629-31.

Stump DG, Holson JF, Fleeman TL, Nemee MD, Farr CH.

Comparative Effects of Single Intraperitoneal or Oral Doses

of Sodium Arsenate or Arsenic Trioxide During In Utero

Development. Teratology 1999;60:283–91.

Solhaug MJ, Bolger PM, Jose PA. The Developing Kidney

and Environmental Toxins. Paediatrics 2004;113(4):1084-91

Duthie GG. Vitamin E and its Antioxidant role in relation to

other dietary components. In Garrow GS, James WPT,

editors. Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Churchill

Livingstone; 2005.p. 226–35.

Malafa MP, Fokum FD, Mowlavi A, Abusief M, King M.

Vitamin E inhibits melanoma growth in mice. Surgery 2002;


Mach M, Ujhazy E, Dubovicky M, Kovacovsky P, Navarova

J. High-dose Vitamin E supplementation in phenytoininduced intrauterine hypoxia: Teratological study. Biologia,

Bratislava 2005;17:45–9.

Kathleen A. Head ND. Ascorbic Acid in the Prevention and

Treatment of Cancer. Alternative Medicine Review


Liu J, Liu Y, Goyer RA, Achanzar W, Waalkes MP.

Metallothionein-I/II null mice aremore sensitive than wildtype mice to the hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effects of

chronic oral or injected inorganic arsenicals. Toxicol Sci


Flora SJS. Nutritional components modify metal absorption,

toxic response and chelation therapy. J Environ Med


Saxen L. The Developing Kidney in Toxicity Tests. In:

Bourdeau P et al. Short- term Toxicity Tests for Nongenotoxic Effects. John Wiley & Sons Ltd;1990.135–53.

Dickinson H, Walker DW, Cullen-Mcewen L, Wintour EM,

Moritz K. The spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus) completes

nephrogenesis before birth. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol


Wintour E.M, Moritz K.M, Johnson K, Ricardos, Samuel CS,

Dodic M. Reduced nephron number in adult sheep,

hypertensive as a result of prenatal glucocorticoid treatment.

J physiol 2003;549:929–35.

Govan DT, Macfarlane PS, Callander R. Genitourinary

system. In: Horne J, Jones D, Mckillo PH, Arnott N.

Pathology illustrated. 4th Ed. New York: Churchill

Livingstone; 1996. 597–692.

Peraza MA, Cromey DW, Carolus B, Carter DE, Gandolfi

AJ. Morphological and functional alterations in human

proximal tubular cell line induced by low level inorganic

arsenic: evidence for targeting of mitochondria and initiated

apoptosis. Journal of Applied Toxicology 2006;26:356–67.



Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>