Article ID: 17-21
Acetaminophen is a commonly used analgesic. However, an overdose of acetaminophen causes severe hepatotoxicity via depletion of hepatic glutathione. Here, we investigated the protective effects of sake lees hydrolysate against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Sake lees hydrolysate was administered orally to ICR mice for seven days. Six hours after acetaminophen treatment, the mice were sacrificed, and blood and liver samples were collected for analysis. Treatment with acetaminophen markedly increased the levels of serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase. Pretreatment with sake lees hydrolysate significantly prevented the increases in the serum levels of these enzymes and inhibited acetaminophen-mediated glutathione depletion. In addition, histopathological evaluation of the livers also revealed that sake lees hydrolysate prevented acetaminophen-induced centrilobular necrosis. The expression of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS), hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in the liver were decreased after acetaminophen treatment, whereas pretreatment with sake lees hydrolysate led to an increased expression of all three proteins. Furthermore, sake lees hydrolysate induced the expression of these proteins in HepG2. These results suggested that sake lees hydrolysate could induces HO-1 and γ-GCS expression via activation of the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway, and protects against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice.