Amodiaquine-induced toxicity in isolated rat hepatocytes and the cytoprotective effects of taurine and/or N-acetyl cysteine

R Heidari, H Babaei, MA Eghbal


Amodiaquine is an antimalarial drug used in the prophylaxis and treatment of this disease. However, hepatotoxicity as a life‑threatening adverse effect is associated with its clinical use. We evaluated amodiaquine-induced toxicity in isolated rat hepatocytes as an in vitro model for studying drug‑induced hepatotoxicity. This study attempts to investigate the protective effects of taurine and N-acetyl cysteine against the cytotoxicity induced by amodiaquine. Hepatocytes were prepared by the method of collagenase enzyme perfusion via portal vein. This technique is based on liver perfusion with collagenase after removal of calcium ion (Ca2+) with a chelator (ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) 0.5 mM). Cells were treated with different concentrations of amodiaquine, taurine and N‑acetyl cysteine. Cell death, protein carbonylation, reactive oxygen species formation, lipid peroxidation, and mitochondrial depolarization were assessed as toxicity markers. Amodiaquine cytotoxic mechanism involved protein carbonylation as well as reactive oxygen species formation and lipid peroxidation. In addition, mitochondria seem to be a target for amodiaquine to induce cellular damage. Administration of taurine (200 µM) and/or N-acetyl cysteine (200 µM) reduced oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation caused by amodiaquine. Furthermore, amodiaquine‑induced mitochondrial injury was significantly mitigated by taurine and/or N-acetyl cysteine. In glutathione‑depleted cells, only N‑acetyl cysteine protected hepatocytes against amodiaquine, and taurine showed no protective properties in this situation. Taurine and N-acetyl cysteine protect hepatocytes against amodiaquine probably via their antioxidant properties and counteracting oxidative stress.

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