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Am J Pathol. 1990 Apr;136(4):787-95.

Liposome-encapsulated superoxide dismutase prevents liver necrosis induced by acetaminophen.

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Department of Oncological Pathology, Nara Medical University, Japan.


Liposome-encapsulated human recombinant superoxide dismutase (LSOD) protected male rats that were pretreated with 3-methylcholanthrene from the liver necrosis produced by acetaminophen. By contrast, SOD-free liposomes, free SOD, or heat-denatured LSOD had no protective effect. Liposome-encapsulated SOD did not simply delay the onset of liver necrosis. A second dose of LSOD at 12 hours prevented the necrosis of the liver as assessed 24 hours after treatment with 500 mg/kg body weight of acetaminophen. Liposome-encapsulated human recombinant superoxide dismutase did not alter the metabolism of acetaminophen as assessed by either the rate or extent of the depletion of hepatic stores of glutathione or by the extent of the covalent binding of the metabolites of [3H]acetaminophen to total liver cell proteins. Evidence of the peroxidation of lipids in the accumulation of malondialdehyde in the livers was detected within 3 hours of the administration of acetaminophen and before the appearance of liver necrosis. Liposome-encapsulated human recombinant superoxide dismutase prevented the accumulation of malondialdehyde in parallel with the prevention of liver necrosis. Finally, LSOD also prevented the potentiation by 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea of the hepatotoxicity of acetaminophen. These data document the participation of superoxide anions in the hepatotoxicity of acetaminophen in intact rats.

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