Withaferin-A (WA) has anti-oxidant activities however, its therapeutic potential in acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity is unknown. We performed a proof-of-concept study to assess the therapeutic potential of WA in a mouse model that mimics APAP-induced liver injury (AILI) in humans. Overnight fasted C57BL/6NTac (5-6 wk. old) male mice received 200 mg/kg APAP intraperitoneally (i.p.). After 1 h mice were treated with 40 mg/kg WA or vehicle i.p., and euthanized 4 and 16 h later; their livers were harvested and serum collected for analysis. At 4 h, compared to vehicle-treated mice, WA-treated mice had reduced serum ALT levels, hepatocyte necrosis and intrahepatic hemorrhage. All APAP-treated mice had reduced hepatic glutathione (GSH) levels however, reduction in GSH was lower in WA-treated when compared to vehicle-treated mice. Compared to vehicle-treated mice, livers from WA-treated mice had reduced APAP-induced JNK activation, mitochondrial Bax translocation, and nitrotyrosine generation. Compared to vehicle-treated mice, WA-treated mice had increased hepatic up-regulation of Nrf2, Gclc and Nqo1, and down-regulation of Il-6 and Il-1β. The hepatoprotective effect of WA persisted at 16 h. Compared to vehicle-treated mice, WA-treated mice had reduced hepatocyte necrosis and hepatic expression of Il-6, Tnf-α and Il-1β, increased hepatic Gclc and Nqo1 expression and GSH levels, and reduced lipid peroxidation. Finally, in AML12 hepatocytes, WA reduced H2O2-induced oxidative stress and necrosis by preventing GSH depletion. Collectively, these data show mechanisms whereby WA reduces necrotic hepatocyte injury, and demonstrate that WA has therapeutic potential in AILI.
- Oxidative stress
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