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Toxicol Sci. 2006 Jun;91(2):365-71. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Adenovirus-mediated expression of CYP2E1 produces liver toxicity in mice.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Induction of cytochrome P450 2E1 by ethanol is believed to be one of the central pathways by which ethanol generates a state of oxidative stress and causes hepatotoxicity. In order to evaluate the biochemical and toxicological actions of CYP2E1 and its sensitization of hepatotoxin-induced injury, an adenovirus which can mediate overexpression of CYP2E1 was constructed. Injecting this virus into mice through the tail vein elevated CYP2E1 protein and activity twofold in the liver of the mice compared with the mice injected with Ad-LacZ or saline. Transaminase levels were dramatically increased in mice injected with the CYP2E1 adenovirus. Histological evaluation of liver specimens of mice injected with Ad-2E1 showed liver cell injury. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay demonstrated that more cells were stained positively in the liver of the mice infected with Ad-2E1 than in the liver of the mice infected with Ad-LacZ. 3-Nitrotyrosine protein adducts and protein carbonyl adducts were increased in the liver of the mice infected with Ad-2E1 compared with Ad-LacZ. This potentiated toxicity most likely reflects interactions between CYP2E1- and adenovirus-mediated toxicity pathways. These results show that adenovirus-mediated overexpression of CYP2E1 could induce liver toxicity in mice and suggests a mechanism involving oxidative/nitrosative stress.

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