Sodium Arsenite-Induced Alteration in Hepatocyte Function of Rat with Special Emphasis on Superoxide Dismutase Expression Pathway and its Prevention by Mushroom Lectin


Author for correspondence: Asit Kumar Bera, National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang, West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh 790101, India (fax +91 3780 242273, e-mail


Abstract:  This study was accomplished to exemplify the possible protective role of ascorbic acid and mushroom lectin against arsenic-induced cytotoxicity and impairment of superoxide dismutase (SOD) production pathway in hepatocytes of rat. Hepatocytes were isolated from rat and treated with sodium arsenite (AS), arsenic plus ascorbic acid (AS + AA) and arsenic plus mushroom lectin (AS + ML). A placebo control was also included. Arsenic treatment resulted in the depletion of cell proliferation, phagocytic activity (nitro blue tetrazolium index) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, relative mRNA expression of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and enhanced production of nitric oxide (NO). Ascorbic acid, a standard antioxidant, could normalize cellular perturbation and SOD production pathway relating to gene expression, whereas partially purified Pleurotus florida lectin (PFL), an edible mushroom containing protein complex, maintained cellular activity and prevented stress by normalizing phagocytic (NBT index) and SOD activities vis-à-vis relative gene expression. It could further defend NO production of hepatocytes. Mushroom lectin strongly prevented sodium arsenite-induced damage of SOD production pathway in hepatocytes, and its effect was also comparable to a standard antioxidant, i.e. ascorbic acid.