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Lab Anim. 2015 Apr;49(1 Suppl):30-6. doi: 10.1177/0023677215570992.

Acetaminophen-induced acute liver injury in mice.

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Department of Internal Medicine III, RWTH University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
Department of Internal Medicine III, RWTH University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany


The induction of acute hepatic damage by acetaminophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol [APAP]), also termed paracetamol, is one of the most commonly used experimental models of acute liver injury in mice. The specific values of this model are the highly reproducible, dose-dependent hepatotoxicity of APAP and its outstanding translational importance, because acetaminophen overdose is one of the most frequent reasons for acute liver failure (ALF) in humans. However, preparation of concentrated APAP working solutions, application routes, fasting period and variability due to sex, genetic background or barrier environment represent important considerations to be taken into account before implementing this model. This standard operating procedure (SOP) provides a detailed protocol for APAP preparation and application in mice, aimed at facilitating comparability between research groups as well as minimizing animal numbers and distress. The mouse model of acetaminophen poisoning therefore helps to unravel the pathogenesis of APAP-induced toxicity or subsequent immune responses in order to explore new therapeutic interventions for improving the prognosis of ALF in patients.


acetaminophen; acute liver failure; humans; inflammation; mouse model; paracetamol; poisoning

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