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Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Mar 1;30(5):547-54.

In vivo evidence for accelerated generation of hydroxyl radicals in liver of Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats with acute hepatitis.

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Medicinal Safety Research Laboratories, Sankyo Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.


The Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats accumulate excess copper (Cu) in the liver in a manner similar to patients with Wilson's disease (WD) and spontaneously develop acute hepatitis with severe jaundice. Although hydroxyl radicals (*OH) have been proposed to be a cause of hepatitis by the accumulation of Cu, it is not clear whether or not *OH can be produced in the liver of hepatitic LEC rats in vivo and also can be involved in the onset of hepatitis. In the present study, *OH production in plasma and liver of hepatitic LEC rats was quantified by trapping *OH with salicylic acid (SA) as 2, 3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2, 3-DHBA). The ratios of 2, 3-DHBA/SA were significantly higher in plasma and liver of hepatitic LEC rats than those of Wistar rats and LEC rats showing no signs of hepatitis. Furthermore, the ratios of 2, 3-DHBA/SA in plasma and liver of hepatitic LEC rats were almost the same as those of Wistar rats treated orally with CuSO(4) (0.5 mmol/kg) 2 h before acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) injection. We also evaluated the protective effects of D-mannitol (a *OH scavenger) treatment against acute hepatitis in LEC rats. D-mannitol (500 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally to 10-week-old LEC rats for 3 weeks. D-mannitol treatment suppressed the increases in serum aspartate aminotransferase activity and total bilirubin concentration. In addition, D-mannitol treatment significantly reduced hepatic mitochondrial lipid peroxidation, which is thought to be important in the pathogenesis of Cu-induced hepatotoxicity. These observations suggest that accelerated generation of *OH catalyzed by free Cu in the liver may, at least in part, play a role in the pathogenesis of acute hepatitis in LEC rats.

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