Proceedings of The Physiological Society

University of Bristol (2005) J Physiol 567P, PC82

Poster Communications

Ascorbic acid attenuates the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke on some vital organs in male rabbits

Olatunji-Bello, Ibiyemi Ibilola; Olayemi, S. O.; Daramola, A. O.; Ogungbemi, A. O.;

1. Department of Physiology, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria. 2. Physiology, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria. 3. Pharmacology, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria. 4. Morbid Anatomy, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.


This study was designed to investigate the effect of ascorbic acid on the degenerative effect of passive cigarette smoke on some vital organs in male rabbits. A total of 16 male rabbits were used and the animals were divided into four groups of 4 rabbits each. Group A rabbits were exposed to passive cigarette smoke from 4 sticks of cigarette for 45-60 min daily while group B rabbits were exposed to cigarette smoke as described above but were also treated with 5mg/gm body weight of ascorbic acid. Group C animals were treated with ascorbic acid only and Group D rabbits were the untreated control group. The treatment went on for a minimum of 6 weeks. At the end of this period, the animals were humanely killed and various organs were neatly removed for histological investigation. Photomicrographs showed that tobacco smoke had deleterious effects on the lungs, testes and kidneys while there were no significant changes in the liver. The brain and heart showed no abnormalities. It was also observed that ascorbic acid had some attenuating effect on inflammatory processes as observed in the lungs. Varying degrees of hypospermatogenesis was observed in the seminiferous tubules while the epididymis contained no spermatocytes in both groups A and B. Despite the fact that ascorbic acid has some attenuating effect on inflammatory processes as observed in the lungs.It is also evident that ascorbic acid stops neither the inflammatory process (as seen in the lungs) nor the declining function as signified by hypospermatogenesis in the testes. Therefore, it is doubtful that the long-term effects of tobacco smoke can be prevented by the use of ascorbic acid.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements