EFFECTS OF ARSENIC ALONE AND IN COMBINATION WITH SELENIUM, IRON AND ZINC ON CLINICAL SIGNS, BODY WEIGHT AND HAEMATOBIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN LONG EVANS
Keywords:Arsenic, selenium, iron, zinc, haematological parameters, rats
The effects of selenium, iron and zinc supplementation along with arsenic on clinical signs, body weight and haematobiochemical parameters were studied in 25 mature male long Evans rats (Ratus norvegicus) of one month old during the period from August to October 2003. These 25 rats were randomly divided into five equal groups (A, B, C, D and E) of which rats of group A received normal feed and water and rats of group B were given arsenic trioxide (As2O3) @ 400 mg / liter plus sodium selenite (NaSe) @ 1 mg / liter; rats of group C were given As2O3 @ 400 mg / liter plus ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) @ 150 mg / liter; rats of group D were given As2O3 @ 400 mg / liter plus zinc sulfate (ZnS04) @ 50 mg / liter and rats of group E were given only As2O3 @ 400 mg / liter drinking water daily for 42 days. All the rats of groups B, C and D showed very mild toxic signs, i.e., excitement, restlessness, anorexia, ruffled hair coat, salivation and mild skin lesion on tail region. Rats of group E (only AS2O3) showed various toxic signs like excitement, restlessness, anorexia, ruffled hair coat, salivation, muscle tremor, ataxia, incoordination and posterior paralysis. All the toxic signs observed in group E were more severe and skin lesions were found in all parts of the body especially on tail region. Rats of group E showed highly significant (p < 0.01) decrease in body weight, total erythrocyte count, Hb content and packed cell volume (PCV). On the other hand highly significant (p < 0.01) increase of ESR values were recorded in group E. Biochemical examination revealed that the activities of serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) and serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT) were significantly (p < 0.01) elevated in all the treated groups than that of control. But in the rats which were treated only with arsenic trioxide, the elevation of SGPT and SGOT were much higher than other treated groups. It may be concluded that the combined administration of NaSe, FeSO4 or ZnSO4 along with AS2O3 were found to be less toxic than administration of As2O3 alone because selenium, iron, and zinc have protective effects against some toxic effects of arsenic.