The effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on liver and renal tissue inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and tissue lipid peroxidation in obstructive jaundice stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)

Pharmacol Res. 2004 Mar;49(3):227-38. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2003.09.013.


Morbidity and mortality rates are very high in obstructive jaundice when it is associated with sepsis and multiple organ failure. Nitric oxide (NO) formation and increased expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) also take place in obstructive jaundice (OJ). N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) has a beneficial effect by demonstrating anti-inflammatory activity such as inhibits cytokine expression/release, inhibiting the adhesion molecule expression and inhibiting nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of NAC on liver and renal tissue iNOS, and liver tissue lipid peroxidation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced obstructive jaundice. We randomized 48 rats into six groups. Group A: Sham group; group B: OJ group; group C: OJ+NAC; group D: OJ+LPS (Escherichia coli LPS serotype L-2630, 100mg, Sigma) group E: OJ+NAC+LPS; group F: OJ+LPS+NAC. NAC was started subcutaneously 100mg/kg. LPS was injected intraperitoneally and then at the tenth day we sacrificed the rats. Liver malondialdehyde (MDA) increased and liver ATPase decreased in groups B-D when compared to group A. After the administration of NAC (groups C-E), liver MDA levels decreased, tissue ATPase levels increased as compared to other groups. The liver and renal tissue iNOS expression was increased in groups B, D, and F. After the administration of NAC (groups C-E) the liver and renal tissue iNOS expression were decreased. Our results indicated that NAC prevented the deleterious effects of LPS in OJ by reducing iNOS expression via lipid peroxidation in liver and renal tissue; if it was administrated before LPS. But NAC failed to prevent the iNOS expression and lipid peroxidation if there was established endotoxemia in OJ.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology*
  • Acetylcysteine / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology
  • Jaundice, Obstructive / enzymology*
  • Jaundice, Obstructive / etiology
  • Jaundice, Obstructive / pathology
  • Jaundice, Obstructive / prevention & control
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / enzymology*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / biosynthesis*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, rat
  • Acetylcysteine