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Comparative Hepatotoxicity Test of Cadmium and Lead in Rats

JD Dabak
SY Gazuwa
GA Ubom


Background: Adverse environmental impacts include contamination of water, soil, and phytotoxicity from excessive heavy metals dispersed from mines and smelter sites leading to potential risk to human health. This study investigated the comparative hepatotoxicity test of mining pond waters used for domestic purposes in some parts of Plateau State, Nigeria.
Methodology: The cellular integrity and function of the liver were assessed using a rat model. The degree of damage was measured using biochemical parameters such as ALT, AST, total proteins, albumin and histopathological examination of the liver cells.
Results: The results for control, mining pond water and added cadmium and lead were as follow: AST= 1.17±0.08, 1.67±0.72 and 6.45±0.47 IU respectively; ALT= 3.60±0.36, 3.67±0.20 and 9.10±0.20 respectively; Total proteins= 6.61±0.24, 6.15±0.25 and 9.39±0.34 respectively; Albumin= 4.25±0.40, 4.00±0.25 and 3.38±0.29 respectively.
Conclusion: Studies indicate that liver function is impeded particularly with respect to protein synthesis, detoxification processes and the cellular integrity of the organ is damaged in the group that cadmium and lead were added (p<0.05). But the water sample from the mining pond, though containing higher cadmium and lead concentrations, could not cause apparent liver damage as compared to control (p>0.05). This suggests that the high concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the water sample might be responsible for the inhibition of the absorption of cadmium and lead thereby masking their acute toxic effects as shown in our previous work.