Experimental induction of liver fibrosis in young guinea pigs by combined application of copper sulphate and aflatoxin B1

Toxicol Lett. 1997 Aug 22;92(3):161-72. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4274(97)00052-0.


Aflatoxin B1 alone (0.05 mg resp. 0.037 mg/kg/d), copper alone (6.6 mg/kg/d or 200 mg/l drinking water) or a combination of both was administered orally for 6 months to young guinea pigs from the first/second day of life. In the copper group there were no pathomorphological changes. For the aflatoxin B1 group, liver damage was established. In the combined group, liver injury was more frequent and more severe compared to the aflatoxin B1 group and biliary copper excretion was diminished compared with the copper group. Histologically, only the livers of this group exhibited degeneration, atrophy and steatosis of liver cells, inflammatory processes and a more or less prominent fibrosis. For childhood cirrhosis (ICC and ICT) a combined etiology--a liver damaging agent plus elevated alimentary copper--is a plausible hypothesis.

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxin B1 / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Copper / analysis
  • Copper Sulfate / toxicity*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / chemically induced*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / pathology
  • Spleen / pathology


  • Copper
  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Copper Sulfate