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Biochem Pharmacol. 1993 Mar 24;45(6):1251-9.

Zonation of acetaminophen metabolism and cytochrome P450 2E1-mediated toxicity studied in isolated periportal and perivenous hepatocytes.

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Biomedical Research Center, ALKO Ltd., Helsinki, Finland.


To study the mechanism of centrilobular damage developing in the centrilobular region after high doses of acetaminophen (APAP), its metabolism and toxicity were compared in periportal and perivenous hepatocytes isolated by digitonin/collagenase perfusion. Contrary to earlier reports, based on perfusions, no evidence for a periportal dominance of APAP sulfation could be observed. Glucuronidation, the dominant pathway of conjugation at high (5 mM) APAP concentration, was faster in perivenous cells. During primary culture, prolonged exposure (> or = 24 hr) to 5 mM APAP damaged perivenous cells, with a higher P450 2E1 level than periportal cells. When cells were isolated from ethanol-pretreated rats, to induce P450 2E1 levels specifically in the perivenous region, perivenous hepatocytes exhibited enhanced APAP vulnerability and extensive glutathione depletion. In contrast, corresponding periportal cells retained good viability. Isoniazid, an inhibitor of cytochrome P450 2E1, protected cells against APAP toxicity and prevented glutathione depletion. Induction of P450 2E1 also caused a 3-fold increase in the covalent binding of reactive intermediates from [14C]APAP, and this increase was mainly confined to perivenous cells. These results indicate that in rat liver there is only slight perivenous zonation of APAP conjugation and suggest that zone-specific APAP activation, mediated by the regional expression of ethanol-inducible cytochrome P450 2E1, is responsible for the characteristic centrilobular liver damage elicited by APAP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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