Background: Metalaxyl is a fungicide used to control soil-borne fungal diseases on fruits, cotton, soy bean, peanuts and grasses. Food contamination with metalaxyl is a worldwide problem especially in developing countries. Ginger has antioxidant properties.
Aim of the work: To elucidate the histological alterations that may occur in the liver tissue of rat by metalaxyl and to investigate the role of ginger supplementation against these alterations.
Materials and methods: Thirty healthy adult male albino rats were used in this study. They were equally divided into three groups: Group I served as control group. Group II (metalaxyl-treated) received 130 mg/kg body weight/day of metalaxyl dissolved in distilled water using a gastric tube for 3 times/week for continuous 4weeks. Group III (metalaxyl-ginger treated group) received metalaxyl as group II in addition to ginger given orally at a dose of 100 mg/kg three times/week for successive 4 weeks. At the end of experiment, all rats were anaesthetized and liver specimens were taken and processed for light and electron microscope examination. Immunohistochemical staining was carried out for detection of the proapoptotic marker Bcl-2 antagonist-X (BAX) protein in hepatocytes. Area % of BAX protein was measured and statistically analyzed.
Results: Examination of the liver sections of metalaxyl- treated group ІІ showed different degrees of focal lobular affection. Central veins and blood sinusoids were dilated and congested. The hepatic lobules lost their normal architecture and the hepatocytes showed cytoplasmic vacuolization with darkly stained nuclei. Enlarged portal areas with numerous bile ductules and cellular infiltration were detected. Ultrastrcturally, hepatocytes had condensed heterochromatin nuclei and electron lucent areas were observed in their cytoplasm. Significant increase in area % of positive immunoreaction for BAX was detected in comparison with control group and group ІІІ. Examination of liver sections of group ІІІ revealed preservation of nearly normal histological structure with slight congested blood vessels and few cellular infiltration.
Conclusion: Metalaxyl had pathological effects on the structure of rat’s liver and these effects were decreased by ginger.
Keywords: Metalaxyl, ginger, liver histology, ultrastructure, rat