Protective Effects of Salidroside on Lead Acetate-induced Oxidative Stress and Hepatotoxicity in Sprague-Dawley Rats

  • Chen Chen
  • Beibei Lin
  • Shanshan QiEmail author
  • Jia He
  • Hongxing ZhengEmail author


Lead has heavy metal toxicity which endangers human and animal health. Salidroside (SDS) is a natural antioxidant that has extensive pharmacological usage. However, its protective effects on lead-induced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity has not been reported. In this study, we established an animal model to evaluate the protective effects of SDS on chronic lead exposure induced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity. Forty healthy Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were assigned to control group (control, animals were provided with distilled water, n = 10); lead acetate-exposed group (PbAc, animals received lead acetate solution of 500 ppm for 60 days, n = 10); low dosage of SDS-treated group (PbAc-SDS-L, lead acetate exposed animals were given intragastric SDS 150 mg/kg body weight for 60 days, n = 10); and high dosage of SDS-treated group (PbAc-SDS-H, lead acetate exposed animals were given intragastric SDS 300 mg/kg body weight for 60 days, n = 10). The results showed that lead exposure caused a significant increase in serum ALP, AST, ALT, and TB (P < 0.01), and these were reversed after treatment with salidroside for 60 days. Compared to the control, the liver GSH, SOD, and GSH-Px were decreased significantly after lead acetate exposure (P < 0.01). However, after treatment with SDS for 60 days, those were dose-dependently reversed. Similarly, MDA was significantly increased in the PbAc group (P < 0.01), and it was significantly decreased in SDS treatment group. Moreover, SDS ameliorated lead-induced congestion and necrosis of hepatocytes. In addition, the RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry results revealed that the PbAc group showed a significant increase in the protein and mRNA of cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) and NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) in rat liver. Treatment with SDS significantly reversed CYP2E1 and NOX2 expressions in the liver of lead-exposed rats. The results above indicated that SDS has obvious antioxidant activity; it can cure liver injury caused by lead acetate by inhibiting oxidative stress and increasing the antioxidant stress activity, thus improving the liver tissue structure.


Salidroside Lead Hepatotoxicity Oxidative stress 



The authors received funding from the High-end Foreign Experts Recruitment Programme of State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (GDT20186100426), Shaanxi Province Key Research and Development Plan (2017SF-074), Qinling-Bashan Mountains Bioresources Comprehensive Development Collaborative Innovation Center Research Funds (QBXT-17-9), the key Project of Agricultural Science and Technology of Shaanxi Province (2017NY-082), and Postdoctoral Program in Shaanxi University of Technology (SLGBH16-03).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chinese-German Joint Laboratory for Natural Product Research, College of Biological Science and EngineeringShaanxi University of TechnologyHanzhongChina
  2. 2.Vitamin D research instituteShaanxi University of TechnologyHanzhongChina
  3. 3.Qinling-Bashan Mountains Bioresources Comprehensive DevelopmentCollaborative Innovation CenterHanzhongChina

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