Journal Article

Sex- and Age-Dependent Acetaminophen Hepato- and Nephrotoxicity in Sprague-Dawley Rats: Role of Tissue Accumulation, Nonprotein Sulfhydryl Depletion, and Covalent Binding

JOAN B. TARLOFF, EDWARD A. KHAIRALLAH, STEVEN D. COHEN and ROBIN S. GOLDSTEIN

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 30, issue 1, pages 13-22
Published in print March 1996 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online March 1996 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/30.1.13
Sex- and Age-Dependent Acetaminophen Hepato- and Nephrotoxicity in Sprague-Dawley Rats: Role of Tissue Accumulation, Nonprotein Sulfhydryl Depletion, and Covalent Binding

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Acetaminophen (APAP) produces sex-dependent nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity in young adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and age-dependent toxicity in male rats. There is no information re garding the susceptibility of aging female SD rats to APAP toxicity. Therefore, the present studies were designed to determine if sex-dependent differences in APAP toxicity persist in aging rats and to elucidate factors contributing to sex- and age-dependent APAP hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Young adult (3 months old) and aging (18 months old) male and female rats were killed from 2 through 24 hr after receiving APAP (0–1250 mg/kg, ip) containing [ring-14C]APAP. Trunk blood was collected for determination of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentration, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, and plasma APAP concentration; urine was collected for determination of glucose and protein excretion; and liver and kidneys were removed for determination of tissue glutathione (GSH) concentration, APAP concentration, and covalent binding. APAP at 1250 mg/kg induced nephrotoxicity (as indicated by elevations in BUN concentration) in 3-month-old females but not males, whereas APAP induced hepatotoxicity (as indicated by elevations in serum ALT activity) in 3-month-old males but not females. Sex differences in APAP toxicity were no longer apparent in 18-month-old rats. APAP at 750 mg/kg ip produced liver and kidney damage in 18-month-old but not 3-month-old male and female rats. No consistent sex- or age-dependent differences in serum, hepatic, and renal APAP concentrations were observed that would account for differences in APAI toxicity. No sex- or age-dependent differences in tissue GSH depletion or covalent binding of radiolabel from APAP in livers or kidneys were observed following APAP administration. Utilizing an affinity-purified polyclonal antibody raised against APAP, arylated proteins with electrophoretic mobility similar to those observed in mice were prominent in rat livers following APAP administration to 3- and 18-month-old rats of both sexes. In contrast, no arylated proteins were detected in any rat kidneys following APAP administration. Absence of immunochemically detectable proteins in rat kidney following APAP administration is in direct contrast to observations in mice and supports the hypothesis that mechanisms of APAP hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity in rats and mice are distinctly different. In conclusion, sex differences in APAP toxicity are observed only in young adult (3-month-old) rats and sex differences are organ-specific with males more susceptible to hepatotoxicity and females more susceptible to nephrotoxicity. Aging rats are more susceptible to APAP-induced damage to both the liver and the kidney than are 3-month-old rats but sex differences are no longer apparent in 18-month-old rats. The mechanisms contributing to sex- and age-dependent differences in APAP toxicity cannot be attributed to differences in tissue APAP concentrations, GSH depletion, or covalent binding.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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