Impact of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease on Toxicokinetics of Tetrachloroethylene in Mice

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2017 Apr;361(1):17-28. doi: 10.1124/jpet.116.238790. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


Lifestyle factors and chronic pathologic states are important contributors to interindividual variability in susceptibility to xenobiotic-induced toxicity. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an increasingly prevalent condition that can dramatically affect chemical metabolism. We examined the effect of NAFLD on toxicokinetics of tetrachloroethylene (PERC), a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that requires metabolic activation to induce adverse health effects. Mice (C57Bl/6J, male) were fed a low-fat diet (LFD), high-fat diet (HFD), or methionine/folate/choline-deficient diet (MCD) to model a healthy liver, steatosis, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), respectively. After 8 weeks, mice were orally administered a single dose of PERC (300 mg/kg) or vehicle (aqueous Alkamuls-EL620) and euthanized at various time points (1-36 hours). Levels of PERC and its metabolites were measured in blood/serum, liver, and fat. Effects of diets on liver gene expression and tissue:air partition coefficients were evaluated. We found that hepatic levels of PERC were 6- and 7.6-fold higher in HFD- and MCD-fed mice compared with LFD-fed mice; this was associated with an increased PERC liver:blood partition coefficient. Liver and serum Cmax for trichloroacetate (TCA) was lower in MCD-fed mice; however, hepatic clearance of TCA was profoundly reduced by HFD or MCD feeding, leading to TCA accumulation. Hepatic mRNA/protein expression and ex vivo activity assays revealed decreased xenobiotic metabolism in HFD- and MCD-, compared with LFD-fed, groups. In conclusion, experimental NAFLD was associated with modulation of xenobiotic disposition and metabolism and increased hepatic exposure to PERC and TCA. Underlying NAFLD may be an important susceptibility factor for PERC-associated hepatotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / etiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism*
  • Tetrachloroethylene / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tetrachloroethylene / toxicity*
  • Toxicokinetics


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Tetrachloroethylene