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Toxicol Lett. 1997 Feb 7;90(2-3):133-44.

Cholesteryl hemisuccinate treatment protects rodents from the toxic effects of acetaminophen, adriamycin, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform and galactosamine.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6510, USA.


In addition to its use as a stabilizer/rigidifier of membranes, cholesteryl hemisuccinate, tris salt (CS) administration has also been shown to protect rats from the hepatotoxic effects of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). To further our understanding of the mechanism of CS cytoprotection, we examined in rats and mice the protective abilities of CS and the non-hydrolyzable ether form of CS, gamma-cholesteryloxybutyric acid, tris salt (CSE) against acetaminophen-, adriamycin-, carbon tetrachloride-, chloroform- and galactosamine-induced toxicity. The results of these studies demonstrated that CS-mediated protection is not selective for a particular species, organ system or toxic chemical. A 24-h pretreatment of both rats and mice with a single dose of CS (100mg/kg, i.p.), resulted in significant protection against the hepatotoxic effects of CCl4, CHCl3, acetaminophen and galactosamine and against the lethal (and presumably cardiotoxic) effect of adriamycin administration. Maximal CS-mediated protection was observed in experimental animals pretreated 24 h prior to the toxic insult. These data suggest that CS intervenes in a critical cellular event that is an important common pathway to toxic cell death. The mechanism of CS protection does not appear to be dependent on the inhibition of chemical bioactivation to a toxic reactive intermediate (in light of the protection observed against galactosamine hepatotoxicity). However, based on the data presented, we can not exclude the possibility that CS administration inhibits chemical bioactivation. Our findings do suggest that CS-mediated protection is dependent on the action of the intact anionic CS molecule (non-hydrolyzable CSE was as protective as CS), whose mechanism has yet to be defined.

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