Indexed on: 11 Dec '07Published on: 11 Dec '07Published in: Toxicology
The potential protective role of alpha-lipoic acid (alpha-LA) in acetaminophen (APAP)-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity was investigated in rats. Pretreatment of rats with alpha-LA (100mg/kg) orally protected markedly against hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity induced by an acute oral toxic dose of APAP (2.5 g/kg) as assessed by biochemical measurements and by histopathological examination. None of alpha-LA pretreated animals died by the acute toxic dose of APAP. Concomitantly, APAP-induced profound elevation of nitric oxide (NO) production and oxidative stress, as evidenced by increasing of lipid peroxidation level, reducing of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and depleting of intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH) level in liver and kidney, were suppressed by pretreatment with alpha-LA. Similarly, daily treatment of rats with a smaller dose of alpha-LA (25mg/kg) concurrently with a smaller toxic dose of APAP (750 mg/kg) for 1 week protected against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. This treatment also completely prevented APAP-induced mortality and markedly inhibited APAP-induced NO overproduction and oxidative stress in hepatic and renal tissues. These results provide evidence that inhibition of NO overproduction and maintenance of intracellular antioxidant status may play a pivotal role in the protective effects of alpha-LA against APAP-induced hepatic and renal damage.