Mercury compounds are widely used in several industries. Such compounds can find their way to the environment causing its pollution. Mercury is considered as a powerful carcinogenic agent. On the other side, the garlic extract is characterized by having compounds of specific anticarcinogenic action. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate both the genotoxicity and cytotoxicity of mercuric chloride and to evaluate the therapeutic and/or prophylactic role of diallyl disulphide (DADS) on mercuric chloride-intoxicated rats. Experimental animals were divided into three main groups, keeping the 1st group as a healthy control. The 2nd group was a DADS post-treated one; receiving HgCl2 orally three times/week at a dose of 20 mg/kg bw for three weeks, then DADS three times/week at an oral dose of 80 mg/kg bw for three weeks. The 3rd group was a pre-treated one, which received DADS then HgCl2 at the same doses and the same periods mentioned in the 2nd group. The results showed that mercuric chloride has a mutagenic activity reflected in its highly significant effects on cellcycle kinetics and frequency of chromosomal aberrations. Also, AST and ALT enzyme activities were highly significantly increased whereas ALP and AChE activities were highly significantly decreased in the serum of HgCl2-intoxicated rats. Moreover, while glucose and total cholesterol were increased after HgCl2 intoxication, total protein was decreased. These effects were much more inhibited in rats firstly treated with DADS then HgCl2 than in those treated with HgCl2 then DADS. The results reflected that DADS has a potential prophylactic activity against HgCl2 toxicity. This could be probably related to its strong antioxidant nature and Hg-binding activity.
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