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, 76 (2-3), 89-99

Carbon Tetrachloride Hepatotoxicity as a Function of Age in Female Fischer 344 Rats


Carbon Tetrachloride Hepatotoxicity as a Function of Age in Female Fischer 344 Rats

L E Rikans et al. Mech Ageing Dev.


Severity of liver damage 24 h after intraperitoneal administration of carbon tetrachloride (0.2 ml/kg) was evaluated in female Fischer 344 rats aged 5, 14 and 28 months, i.e. in young adulthood, middle age and old age. Carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity, as judged by the leakage of hepatic enzymes into the bloodstream and the disappearance of hepatic microsomal cytochrome P450, was much less severe in old rats than in young-adult rats. For example, serum sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) activity following carbon tetrachloride administration was 680 mumol/min/l in old rats compared with 1710 mumol/min/l in young-adult rats, and the loss of hepatic cytochrome P450 was 25% of the total amount in old rats compared with 50% of the total in young-adult rats. Spin trapping and electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy were utilized to measure the conversion of carbon tetrachloride to trichloromethyl radicals in vivo. This primary bioactivation step occurred at similar rates in female rats aged 5, 14 and 28 months. In addition, the total nonheme iron contents in livers of rats in the three age groups were similar. Thus, the age associated attenuation of carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity was not explained on the basis of decreased bioactivation to reactive species or decreased availability of iron for promotion of lipid peroxidation. The results suggest that other factors are important determinants of age-associated changes in sensitivity to toxic chemicals.

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