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Protective Effect of N-Acetyl Cysteine in Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats

Author(s): Narasimhanaidu Kamalakkannan | Rajagopalan Rukkumani | Kode Aruna | Penumathsa Suresh Varma | Periyasamy Viswanathan | Venugopal Padmanabhan Menon

Journal: Iranian Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
ISSN 1735-2657

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 118;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: N-acetyl cysteine | Hepatotoxicity | Carbon tetrachloride

The present study determines the efficacy of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) on marker enzymes, lipid peroxidation and antioxidants in carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) (3 mL/kg/week) administered subcutaneously to albino Wistar rats for a period of three months significantly increased the activities of marker enzymes in plasma such as aspartate transaminase, Gama-glutamyl transferase and alkaline phosphatase and increased the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and hydroperoxides in plasma and tissues (liver and kidney). A significant decrease in the levels of plasma antioxidants (glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E) was also noted. Further, a decrease in the concentration of glutathione and the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in the tissues were observed. N-acetyl cysteine (150 mg/kg) was orally administered to normal and carbon tetrachloride-treated rats for a period of three months. N-acetyl cysteine decreased the activities of marker enzymes, lipid peroxidation and improved the antioxidant status in carbon tetrachloride-treated rats. But there were no significant alterations in these parameters in normal rats treated with N-acetyl cysteine. Histopathological observations of the liver also showed the protective effect of N-acetyl cysteine in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. The results of this study show the protective action of N-acetyl cysteine in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. This is mainly due to the effective antioxidant potential of N-acetyl cysteine.
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