The present investigation was aimed at studying the possible role of curcumin against N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)-induced toxicity in albino rats. Administration of NDEA to rats at a concentration of 0.1 mg/ml in drinking water ad libitum for 21 days produced toxicity in them, which was evident from histopathological changes in the rat livers, and increased levels of blood serum enzyme markers, i.e. aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, and lactate dehydrogenase. In addition, the levels of oxidative stress markers like lipid peroxidation (LPO), protein carbonyl (PCC), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity were elevated and the total glutathione (GSH) content was reduced in the livers. The administration of curcumin to rats at concentrations of 10, 20, and 40 mg/ml in drinking water along with 0.1 mg/ml of NDEA for 21 days effectively suppressed NDEA-induced toxicity and also resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in the levels of blood serum enzyme markers (AST, ALT, ALP, and LDH). Moreover, LPO, PCC, and GST activity were reduced and the GSH level was increased upon the administration of curcumin along with NDEA. The results obtained for the comet assay in rat hepatocytes and blood lymphocytes showed a significant dose-dependent decrease in the mean tail length. The micronucleus assay performed on rat hepatocytes also showed a dose-dependent reduction in the frequency of micronucleated cells along with curcumin administration. These results suggest that curcumin has a protective role against NDEA-induced toxicity in albino rats.
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