Carbon monoxide releasing molecule A-1 attenuates acetaminophen-mediated hepatotoxicity and improves survival of mice by induction of Nrf2 and related genes

Kapil K. Upadhyay, Ravirajsinh N. Jadeja, Jaymesh M. Thadani, Apeksha Joshi, Aliasgar Vohra, Vishal Mevada, Rajesh Patel, Sandeep Khurana, Ranjitsinh V. Devkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Acute liver injury is frequently associated with oxidative stress. Here, we investigated the therapeutic potential of carbon monoxide releasing molecule A-1 (CORM A-1) in oxidative stress-mediated liver injury. Overnight-fasted mice were injected with acetaminophen (APAP; 300 mg/kg; intraperitoneally) and were sacrificed at 4 and 12 h. They showed elevated levels of serum transaminases, depleted hepatic glutathione (GSH) and hepatocyte necrosis. Mice injected with CORM A-1 (20 mg/kg) 1 h after APAP administration, had reduced serum transaminases, preserved hepatic GSH and reduced hepatocyte necrosis. Mice that received a lethal dose of APAP (600 mg/kg), died by 10 h; but those co-treated with CORM A-1 showed a 50% survival. Compared to APAP-treated mice, livers from those co-treated with CORM A-1, had upregulation of Nrf2 and ARE genes (HO-1, GCLM and NQO-1). APAP-treated mice had elevated hepatic mRNA levels of inflammatory genes (Nf-κB, TNF-α, IL1-β and IL-6), an effect blunted in those co-treated with CORM A-1. In tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-treated HepG2 cells, CORM A-1 augmented cell viability, reduced oxidative stress, activated the nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) and anti-oxidant response element (ARE) genes. The molecular docking profile of CO in the kelch domain of Keap1 protein suggested that CO released from CORM A-1 mediated Nrf2 activation. Collectively, these data indicate that CORM A-1 reduces oxidative stress by upregulating Nrf2 and related genes, and restoring hepatic GSH, to reduce hepatocyte necrosis and thus minimize liver injury that contributes to an overall improved survival rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018



  • Acetaminophen
  • CORM A-1
  • Kelch-Like ECH-Associated Protein 1
  • Liver
  • Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-Related Factor 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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