Toxicological effects of thimerosal on rat kidney: a histological and biochemical study. Academic Article uri icon


  • Thimerosal is an organomercurial compound, which is used in the preparation of intramuscular immunoglobulin, antivenoms, tattoo inks, skin test antigens, nasal products, ophthalmic drops, and vaccines as a preservative. In most of animal species and humans, the kidney is one of the main sites for mercurial compounds deposition and target organs for toxicity. So, the current research was intended to assess the thimerosal induced nephrotoxicity in male rats. Twenty-four adult male albino rats were categorized into four groups. The first group was a control group. Rats of Group-II, Group-III, and Group-IV were administered with 0.5g/kg, 10g/kg, and 50g/kg of thimerosal once a day, respectively. Thimerosal administration significantly decreased the activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione (GSH), and protein content while increased the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels dose-dependently. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, urobilinogen, urinary proteins, kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) levels were substantially increased. In contrast, urinary albumin and creatinine clearance was reduced dose-dependently in thimerosal treated groups. The results demonstrated that thimerosal significantly increased the inflammation indicators including nuclear factor kappaB (NF-B), tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-), Interleukin-1 (IL-1), Interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activities, DNA and histopathological damages dose-dependently. So, the present findings ascertained that thimerosal exerted nephrotoxicity in male albino rats.

published proceedings

  • Braz J Biol

altmetric score

  • 2.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Ijaz, M. U., Majeed, S. A., Asharaf, A., Ali, T., Al-Ghanim, K. A., Asad, F., ... Mahboob, S.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Ijaz, MU||Majeed, SA||Asharaf, A||Ali, T||Al-Ghanim, KA||Asad, F||Zafar, S||Ismail, M||Samad, A||Ahmed, Z||Al-Misned, F||Riaz, MN||Mahboob, S

publication date

  • January 2021