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Diphenyleneiodonium sulfate, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor, prevents early alcohol-induced liver injury in the rat.

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Laboratory of Hepatobiology and Toxicology, Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina, Mary Ellen Jones Bldg., Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7365, USA.


The oxidant source in alcohol-induced liver disease remains unclear. NADPH oxidase (mainly in liver Kupffer cells and infiltrating neutrophils) could be a potential free radical source. We aimed to determine if NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium sulfate (DPI) affects nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation, liver tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA expression, and early alcohol-induced liver injury in rats. Male Wistar rats were fed high-fat liquid diets with or without ethanol (10-16 g. kg(-1). day(-1)) continuously for up to 4 wk, using the Tsukamoto-French intragastric enteral feeding protocol. DPI or saline vehicle was administered by subcutaneous injection for 4 wk. Mean urine ethanol concentrations were similar between the ethanol- and ethanol plus DPI-treated groups. Enteral ethanol feeding caused severe fat accumulation, mild inflammation, and necrosis in the liver (pathology score, 4.3 +/- 0.3). In contrast, DPI significantly blunted these changes (pathology score, 0.8 +/- 0.4). Enteral ethanol administration for 4 wk also significantly increased free radical adduct formation, NF-kappaB activity, and TNF-alpha expression in the liver. DPI almost completely blunted these parameters. These results indicate that DPI prevents early alcohol-induced liver injury, most likely by inhibiting free radical formation via NADPH oxidase, thereby preventing NF-kappaB activation and TNF-alpha mRNA expression in the liver.

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