ABSTRACT: Cadmium, which has adverse effects on many physiological systems, is an important environmental pollutant. Our previous experimental study showed that cadmium also has a dose-dependent deleterious effect on the auditory system in rats. Because zinc reverses cadmium cytotoxicity in many systems, we investigated the possible preventive effect of a zinc-enriched diet given isochronally on cadmium-induced hearing loss in rats. Fifty-four male rats were divided into three equal groups. Control rats were fed normal rat food and tap water, whereas the cadmium group was subjected to 15 ppm cadmium-containing water as CdCl2. The third group received 15 ppm CdCl2 and food enriched with 200 ppm zinc as ZnSO4 for 30 d. On d 30, eight animals from each group were used for the measurement of kidney functions. In the remaining animals, hearing functions were measured by auditory brainstem response and distortion product otoacoustic emission. Blood cadmium increased from 1.87+/-1.69 to 6.08+/-2.62 microg/dL and elevated cadmium contents of ear ossicles and kidney cortex were associated with a decreased glomerular filtration rate in rats subjected to high cadmium. A zinc-enriched diet obviously reduced cadmium accumulation in the kidney and prevented the nephrotoxicity. Our data indicated that cadmium-induced ototoxicity seems to be partially zinc preventable and zinc addition to diet without altering cadmium content in ear ossicles may help to prevent cadmium-induced hearing loss.
Biological Trace Element Research 09/2002; 88(2):153-63. · 1.92 Impact Factor