Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 9333–9342 | Cite as

L-α-Phosphatidylcholine attenuates mercury-induced hepato-renal damage through suppressing oxidative stress and inflammation

  • Samar S. Elblehi
  • Mona H. Hafez
  • Yasser S. El-SayedEmail author
Research Article


The potential ameliorative effects of L-α-phosphatidylcholine (PC) against mercuric chloride (HgCl2)-induced hematological and hepato-renal damage were investigated. Rats were randomly allocated into four groups (n = 12): control, PC (100 mg/kg bwt, intragastrically every other day for 30 consecutive days), HgCl2 (5 mg/kg bwt, intragastrically daily), and PC plus HgCl2. Hematological and hepato-renal dysfunctions were evaluated biochemically and histopathologically. Hepatic and renal oxidative/antioxidative indices were evaluated. The expression of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6) was also detected by ELISA. HgCl2 significantly increased serum aminotransferases (ALT, AST), urea, and creatinine levels that are indicative of hepato-renal damage. HgCl2 also induced a significant accumulation of malondialdehyde (+ 195%) with depletion of glutathione (− 43%) levels in the liver and renal tissues. The apparent hepato-renal oxidative damage was associated with obvious organ dysfunction that was confirmed by impairments in the liver and kidney histoarchitecture. Furthermore, HgCl2 significantly attenuated the expression of proinflammatory cytokines named tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Conversely, PC treatment attenuated these effects, which improved the hematological and serum biochemical alternations, reduced the oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokine levels, and ameliorated the intensity of the histopathological alterations in livers and kidneys of HgCl2-treated rats. It could be concluded that PC displayed potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities against HgCl2-induced hepato-renal damage via suppression of proinflammatory cytokines and declining oxidative stress.


Phosphatidylcholine Mercury Antioxidants Proinflammatory cytokines Histopathology 



alanine aminotransferase


analysis of variance


aspartate aminotransferase


5,5-dithiobis (2-nitrobenzoic acid)


enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


reduced glutathione






mercuric chloride




mean corpuscle concentration


mean corpuscle hemoglobin concentration


mean corpuscle volume






packed cell volume


red blood corpuscles


reactive oxygen species


standard error of the mean


thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances


tumor necrosis factor-α


white blood corpuscles


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAlexandria UniversityEdfinaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAlexandria UniversityEdfinaEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineDamanhur UniversityDamanhourEgypt

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