Protection by clofibrate against acetaminophen hepatotoxicity in male CD-1 mice is associated with an early increase in biliary concentration of acetaminophen-glutathione adducts

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1996 Sep;140(1):30-8. doi: 10.1006/taap.1996.0194.


Repeated treatment with clofibrate (CFB) significantly increased hepatic glutathione (GSH) content and also diminished acetaminophen's (APAP) selective protein arylation, GSH depletion, and severity of hepatocellular necrosis. The present work was conducted to evaluate the role of elevated GSH and APAP detoxifying pathways in the amelioration of APAP's toxicity by CFB. Male CD-1 mice received 500 mg CFB/kg, i.p., daily for 10 days. Controls were given corn oil vehicle. They were challenged with 700 mg APAP/kg in 50% propylene glycol/water after an overnight fast. Results indicate that CFB pretreatment had no effect on 24-hr urinary excretion of APAP-glucuronide, sulfate, or GSH-derived conjugates; however, there was 50% less unchanged APAP excreted in urine of CFB-pretreated mice. CFB also did not alter microsomal UDP-glucuronyl transferase activity toward APAP in vitro. However, elimination of APAP from plasma and liver was much greater in CFB-pretreated mice. This was accompanied by elevated biliary APAP-GSH content in CFB-pretreated mice at 2 hr after APAP dosing with diminished levels in bile at 12 hr. The CFB-induced increase in biliary excretion of APAP-GSH may mediate the protection against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Acetaminophen / metabolism
  • Acetaminophen / toxicity
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / metabolism
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Biliary Tract / drug effects*
  • Biliary Tract / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Clofibrate / pharmacology*
  • Clofibrate / therapeutic use
  • Glutamate-Cysteine Ligase / metabolism
  • Glutathione / deficiency
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Acetaminophen
  • Glutamate-Cysteine Ligase
  • Glutathione
  • Clofibrate