Enhanced liver tumor promotion activity in rats subjected to combined administration of phenobarbital and orphenadrine

J Toxicol Sci. 2013;38(3):415-24. doi: 10.2131/jts.38.415.


Phenobarbital (PB) and orphenadrine (ORPH) are cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2B inducers and have liver tumor-promoting effects in rats. In this study, we performed a rat two-stage liver carcinogenesis bioassay to examine the tumor-promoting effect of PB and ORPH co-administration. Twelve male rats per group were given an intraperitoneal injection of N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN) for initiation. Two-week after DEN administration, rats were given PB (60 or 120 ppm in drinking water), ORPH (750 or 1,500 ppm in diet) or 60 ppm PB+750 ppm ORPH for 6-week. One-week after the PB/ORPH treatment, all rats were subjected to two-thirds partial hepatectomy. To evaluate the effect of the combined administration, we used two statistical models: a heteroadditive model and an isoadditive model. In the heteroadditive model, the net values of the number and area of glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P) positive foci, Cyp2b1/2, Gstm3 and Gpx2 mRNA levels, microsomal reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances level in the PB+ORPH group were significantly higher than the sum of the net values of those in the Low PB and Low ORPH groups. In the isoadditive model, the average values of the area of GST-P positive foci and PCNA positive hepatocyte ratio and Gstm3 mRNA level in the PB+ORPH group were significantly higher than the average values of those in the High PB and High ORPH groups. These results suggest that PB and ORPH co-administration causes synergistic effects in liver tumor-promoting activity in rats resulting from oxidative stress due to enhanced microsomal ROS production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B1 / metabolism
  • Diethylnitrosamine / administration & dosage
  • Diethylnitrosamine / toxicity
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Synergism
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Liver Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Orphenadrine / administration & dosage
  • Orphenadrine / toxicity*
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Phenobarbital / administration & dosage
  • Phenobarbital / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Drug Combinations
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • Orphenadrine
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B1
  • Phenobarbital