Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 12, pp 3348–3354 | Cite as

The Effects of N-Acetylcysteine on Bile Duct Ligation–Induced Liver Fibrosis in Rats

  • Gulgun Tahan
  • Orhan Tarcin
  • Veysel Tahan
  • Fatih Eren
  • Nursal Gedik
  • Elife Sahan
  • Nilgun Biberoglu
  • Savas Guzel
  • Aysun Bozbas
  • Nurdan Tozun
  • Osman Yucel
Original Paper


Stellate cells are activated by free radicals, and synthesize collagen. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a precursor of reduced glutathione and a potent scavenger of hydroxyl radicals and has potential antifibrotic effects. We aimed to test the effects of NAC on bile duct ligation (BDL) induced liver damage in rats. Forty-seven Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups: group 1, BDL + NAC (n = 10); group 2, BDL (n = 10); group 3, sham + NAC (n = 10); group 4, sham (n = 10); and group 5, control group (n = 10). NAC (50 μmol/kg per day) or saline of single doses were administered intraperitoneally for 28 days. Serum biochemical and liver oxidative stress parameters were studied. Liver collagen level was determined by the method of Lopez de Leon and Rojkind. Liver slides were stained by hematoxylin and eosin and Masson trichrome\Gomory reticulum staining. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase levels in the BDL + NAC group were lower than the BDL group and were higher than the control groups (all P < .001). Malondialdehyde, luminal, and glutathione levels in group 1 were lower than the BDL group (P = .01, P = .002, and P < .001) and higher than the control groups (all P < .001). NAC had no effect on alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gammaglutamyl transferase, bilirubin, albumin, or lucigenin levels. Liver collagen levels were higher in the BDL groups (P < .001); however, NAC had no effect on the collagen levels. The BDL groups showed stage 3 fibrosis; all the control groups were normal. NAC improved some biochemical parameters (AST, alkaline phosphatase) and oxidative stress parameters (malondialdehyde, luminol, glutathione) in the BDL model. NAC was found to be effective on cholestasis-induced hepatotoxicity. However, NAC was inefficient as an antifibrotic agent within a 1-month period of administration in the BDL model.


Antifibrotic N-acetylcysteine Bile duct ligation Hepatic fibrosis Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gulgun Tahan
    • 1
  • Orhan Tarcin
    • 2
  • Veysel Tahan
    • 3
  • Fatih Eren
    • 4
  • Nursal Gedik
    • 5
  • Elife Sahan
    • 6
  • Nilgun Biberoglu
    • 7
  • Savas Guzel
    • 7
  • Aysun Bozbas
    • 3
  • Nurdan Tozun
    • 3
  • Osman Yucel
    • 8
  1. 1.Marmara University Institute of Gastroenterology and Taksim State HospitalDepartment of General SurgeryIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Gumussuyu Military HospitalDepartment of GastroenterologyIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Marmara UniversityDepartment of GastroenterologyIstanbulTurkey
  4. 4.Marmara UniversityGastroenterology InstituteIstanbulTurkey
  5. 5.Kasimpasa Military HospitalDepartment of BiochemistryIstanbulTurkey
  6. 6.Taksim State HospitalDepartment of PathologyIstanbulTurkey
  7. 7.Taksim State HospitalDepartment of BiochemistryIstanbulTurkey
  8. 8.Taksim State HospitalDepartment of General SurgeryIstanbulTurkey

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