Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1249–1256 | Cite as

Misoprostol protection against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in the rat

  • S. Ping Lim
  • Fiona J. Andrews
  • Paul E. O'Brien
Original Articles

Abstract

The hepatoprotective effects of misoprostol on acetaminophen (APAP)-induced toxicity were studied in the rat. Liver injury was evaluated at 36 hr after APAP administration by measuring serum ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, by using tetranitroblue tetrazolium (TNBT) staining and by histological analysis. After APAP administration, peak serum levels of the drug were detected at 15 min. Liver GSH was depleted from control levels of 448±48 µg/g to 82±2 µg/g (P<0.01) within 3 hr. Serum ALT levels increased significantly after 16 hr and H&E staining revealed significant hepatic necrosis after 12 hr. Rats treated with misoprostol before and after APAP administration showed reduced OCT and ALT levels at 36 hr of overdose (454±446 IU/liter and 2571±2944 IU/liter, respectively) compared to those without misoprostol treatment (1348±480 IU/liter and 6077±3025 IU/liter, respectively,P<0.01). TNBT staining showed a reduced area of damage from 28.6±22.3% to 7.3±8.9% (P<0.01), and H&E staining also showed less extensive hepatic necrosis in rats treated with misoprostol before and after the overdose. In a time sequence study, misoprostol treatment starting within 10 hr of overdose showed the same protective effect as when it was given before and after APAP ingestion. No protection was detected when the treatment was started during the development of hepatic injury. However, misoprostol given when injury was established seemed to be protective. Our results show that misoprostol protects the liver against APAP-induced injury if given within 10 hr of overdose. Late administration of misoprostol may also be beneficial and thus may be considered in treating patients with APAP toxicity.

Key words

acetaminophen hepatotoxicity misoprostol hepatoprotection 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Ping Lim
    • 1
  • Fiona J. Andrews
    • 1
  • Paul E. O'Brien
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Department of SurgeryMonash Medical School, Alfred HospitalPrahranAustralia

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