MECHANISMS OF THE ZINC PROTECTIVE EFFECTS AGAINST CARBON-TETRACHLORIDE HEPATOTOXICITY
KeywordsLiver -- Diseases -- Chemotherapy -- Animal models.
Zinc -- Physiological effect.
Carbon tetrachloride -- Toxicology -- Animal models.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSeveral trace metals have been shown to modify cell injury as indicated by reduction of observable pathological tissue changes after metal ion supplementation. An example of this is zinc ion induced protection against some of the liver injury caused by a single injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄) to male Sprague-Dawley rats. Carbon tetrachloride liver injury is associated with membrane labilization as indicated by lysosomal and endoplasmic reticulum anomalies. Depressed hepatic levels of NADPH are observed during CCl₄ poisoning. Lipid metabolism is also impaired due to CCl₄ administration to animals. These biochemical manifestations of CCl₄ hepatotoxicity were studied in the presence of zinc ions in order to understand the mechanisms of the zinc protective effect against CCl₄ injury. The effect of zinc ions on the stability of rat liver lysomes was studied. Zinc was added by several methods: (1) feeding the animals a high zinc diet, (2) infusion of zinc into the liver in situ through the portal vein, or (3) by adding zinc to the lysosomal fraction either before or after isolation of this fraction from rat liver homogenates. By all techniques, addition of zinc reduced the release of β-glucuronidase from liver lysosomes, indicating increased stability of the suborganelles. The zinc induced protection against CCl₄ liver damage was evident in observations made using both light microscopy and electron microscopy. The increased release of lysosomal β-glucuronidase observed in the CCl₄ treated rats was significantly reduced by zinc administration. Also, decreases in microsomal protein synthesis and seromucoid levels due to the CCl₄ treatment were significantly ameliorated by zinc. Thus, disruption of lysosomal and endoplasmic reticulum membranes, one of the earliest signs of CCl₄ hepatotoxicity, appeared to be inhibited by pretreating the animals with zinc chloride. Depressed hepatic levels of NADPH are observed in rats administered CCl₄. Zinc chloride pretreatment of these rats significantly increased the NADPH levels in the liver. Since zinc ions bind NADPH, then the protective effect of zinc against CCl₄ toxicity may be due to stabilization of the pyridine nucleotide by zinc and the subsequent prevention of CCl₄ induced alterations of biochemical reactions dependent upon NADPH. Zinc chloride pretreatment of CCl₄ treated rats significantly reduced the CCl₄ induced hepatic triacylglycerol accumulation. Concomitant with this event is the appearance of elevated levels of newly synthesized triacylglycerols in the serum of the CCl₄ treated rats given zinc above that of the CCl₄ treated rats. Hepatic triacylglycerol synthesis is unchanged by CCl₄ or zinc treatment. Hepatic phospholipid levels which are depressed by the CCl₄ hepatotoxin are not affected by zinc treatment. However, the synthesis of phospholipids in the livers of rats treated with CCl₄ plus zinc is significantly increased. The lipid changes induced by CCl₄ and zinc dosing of rats are indicative of alterations in liver membranes thus affecting hepatic liver transport mechanisms. On the basis of the data presented, the effects of zinc ions on CCl₄ hepatotoxicity are discussed and applied to understanding the regulating role of metal ions in tissue injury. The protective effects of zinc ions against CCl₄ hepatotoxicity suggest a relationship between the zinc nutritional status of animals exposed to environmental contaminants, and the expression of the ensuing tissue damage.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition