The present study aimed to investigate the histological changes in the liver induced by cadmium and to determine the possible preventive effects of selenium on the detrimental effects of cadmium under light microscopy. Sixty adult male Wistar albino rats were divided into 4 groups as cadmium, selenium, cadmium+selenium, and control groups, each containing fifteen rats. After rats were given cadmium and selenium via gavage, their livers were removed following cardiac perfusion procedure on days 1, 6, and 28. After livers were fixated with 10% buffered neutral formalin and routine histological procedures were applied. Sections were stained with Hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) Massons trichrome, and periodical acid-Schiff (PAS) techniques. Results have shown that cadmium has caused hydropic degeneration in the liver, expanding in sinusoids and increases in foci of inflammation and activated Kupffer cells. In groups that were given only selenium, no obvious changes were observed in the liver except for mild expansion in the sinusoid. In groups that were given cadmium and selenium together, fewer histological changes were observed when compared with groups given only cadmium. These results revealed that selenium may exhibit a protective effect against the oxidative stress in the liver caused by cadmium.
Key words: Cadmium, histopathology, liver, selenium