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Biochem Pharmacol. 1989 Feb 15;38(4):627-31.

Tumor necrosis factor is a terminal mediator in galactosamine/endotoxin-induced hepatitis in mice.

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  • 1University of Konstanz, Faculty of Biology, Federal Republic of Germany.


Intravenous injection of murine recombinant tumor necrosis factor alpha(TNF-alpha) to male NMRI albino mice in doses greater than 4 micrograms/kg (specific activity 4 x 10(7) U/mg) resulted in a fulminant hepatitis when animals had been sensitized 1 hr before by intraperitoneal administration of 700 mg/kg galactosamine. Liver injury was assessed by measurement of serum transaminases as well as sorbitol dehydrogenase activity 8 hr after administration of TNF-alpha. Pretreatment with either galactosamine or 40 micrograms/kg TNF-alpha alone did not cause hepatitis. Pretreatment of galactosamine/TNF-alpha-injured mice with 800 mg/kg uridine or with 6 mg/kg calmidazolium fully protected the animals, while administration of either verapamil or nifedipine (100 mg/kg, respectively) had no significant effect. The following inhibitors of generation or action of leukotriene D4, which were previously shown to block galactosamine/endotoxin-induced hepatitis in mice, failed to protect against galactosamine/TNF-alpha-induced intoxication: 200 micrograms/kg dexamethasone, 174 mg/kg BW 755 C or 13 x 10 mg/kg FPL 55712. In addition, unlike in the galactosamine/endotoxin model no prevention was achieved by pretreatment of galactosamine/TNF-alpha-injured animals with the following substances blocking the development of an ischemia/reperfusion syndrome: 2 x 100 mg/kg allopurinol, 3.3 x 10(4) U/kg superoxide dismutase, 10(6) U/kg catalase or 10 micrograms/kg iloprost. We conclude from our results that tumor necrosis factor alpha is likely to act as a final mediator of endotoxin action in a sequence of events which includes formation of leukotriene D4 and reactive oxygen species.

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