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Drug Metab Dispos. 2001 Aug;29(8):1088-95.

Cytochrome P4502E1 induction increases thioacetamide liver injury in diet-restricted rats.

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  • 1Department of Toxicology, Louisiana Institute of Toxicology, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, LA 71209-0495, USA.


Earlier studies have shown highly exaggerated mechanism-based liver injury of thioacetamide (TA) in rats following moderate diet restriction (DR) and in diabetes. The objective of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of higher liver injury of TA in DR rats. Since both DR and diabetes induce CYP2E1, we hypothesized that hepatic CYP2E1 plays a major role in the bioactivation-based liver injury of TA. When male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-275 g) were maintained on diet restriction (DR, 35% of ad libitum fed rats, 21 days) the total hepatic microsomal cytochrome P450 (CYP450) was increased 2-fold along with a 4.6-fold increase in CYP2E1 protein, which corresponded with a 3-fold increase in CYP2E1 activity as measured by chlorzoxazone hydroxylation. To further test the involvement of CYP2E1, 24 and 18 h after pretreatment with pyridine (PYR) and isoniazid (INZ), specific inducers of CYP2E1, male Sprague-Dawley rats received a single administration of 50 mg of TA/kg (i.p.). TA liver injury was >2.5- and >3-fold higher at 24 h in PYR + TA and INZ + TA groups, respectively, compared with the rats receiving TA alone. Pyridine pretreatment resulted in significantly increased total CYP450 content accompanied by a 2.2-fold increase in CYP2E1 protein and 2-fold increase in enzyme activity concordant with increased liver injury of TA, suggesting mechanism-based bioactivation of TA by CYP2E1. Hepatic injury of TA in DR rats pretreated with diallyl sulfide (DAS), a well known irreversible in vivo inhibitor of CYP2E1, was significantly decreased (60%) at 24 h. CCl(4) (4 ml/kg i.p.), a known substrate of CYP2E1, caused lower liver injury and higher animal survival confirming inhibition of CYP2E1 by DAS pretreatment. The role of flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) in TA bioactivation implicated by previous in vitro studies, and consequent increased TA-induced liver injury in DR rats was tested in vivo with a relatively selective inhibitor of FMO, indole-3-carbinol, and then treated with 50 mg of TA/kg. FMO activity and alanine aminotransferase levels measured at different time points revealed that TA liver injury was not decreased although FMO activity was significantly decreased, suggesting that hepatic FMO is unlikely to bioactivate TA. These findings suggest induction of CYP2E1 as the primary mechanism of increased bioactivation-based liver injury of TA in DR rats.

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