Elevated serum beta-glucuronidase reflects hepatic lysosomal fragility following toxic liver injury in rats

Biochem Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;86(3):235-43. doi: 10.1139/o08-038.


The level of serum beta-glucuronidase increases in various pathological conditions, including liver disorders. The aim of this investigation was to study the changes in liver lysosomal membrane stability during experimentally induced hepatic fibrosis that may result in the elevation of serum beta-glucuronidase. Liver injury was induced by intraperitoneal injections of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in adult male albino rats over 3 weeks. The progression of fibrosis was evaluated histopathologically as well as by monitoring liver collagen content. Lipid peroxides and beta-glucuronidase levels were measured in the liver homogenate and subcellular fractions on days 0, 7, 14, and 21 after the start of NDMA administration. Serum beta-glucuronidase levels were also determined. A significant increase was observed in beta-glucuronidase levels in the serum, liver homogenate, and subcellular fractions, but not in the nuclear fraction on days 7, 14, and 21 after the start of NDMA administration. Lipid peroxides also increased in the liver homogenate and the lysosomal fraction. The measurement of lysosomal membrane stability revealed a maximum lysosomal fragility on day 21 during NDMA-induced fibrosis. In vitro studies showed that NDMA has no significant effect on liver lysosomal membrane permeability. The results of this investigation demonstrated that lysosomal fragility increases during NDMA-induced hepatic fibrosis, which could be attributed to increased lipid peroxidation of lysosomal membrane. In this study, we also elucidated the mechanism of increased beta-glucuronidase and other lysosomal glycohydrolases in the serum during hepatic fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Glucuronidase / blood*
  • Glucuronidase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / blood
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / enzymology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / pathology
  • Lysosomes / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Collagen
  • Glucuronidase