The effectiveness of N-acetylcysteine in isolated hepatocytes, against the toxicity of paracetamol, acrolein, and paraquat
The protective effect of N-acetylcysteine against the toxicity of paracetamol, acrolein, and paraquat was investigated using isolated hepatocytes as the experimental system. N-acetylcysteine protects against paracetamol toxicity by acting as a precursor for intracellular glutathione. N-acetylcysteine protects against acrolein toxicity by providing a source of sulfhydryl groups, and is effective without prior conversion. Paraquat toxicity can be decreased by coincubating the cells with N-acetylcysteine, but the mechanism for the protective effect is not as clear in this instance. It is probable that N-acetylcysteine protects against paraquat toxicity by helping to maintain intracellular glutathinone levels.