2012 Volume 37 Issue 6 Pages 1143-1156
Diclofenac (DCF), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is well known to induce idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity. Although there remains much to be elucidated about its onset mechanism, it is widely accepted as a hypothesis that idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity arises from a specific immune response to a hapten formed by covalent binding of drugs or their reactive metabolites to hepatic tissues. In this study, we investigated the effects of covalent binding of DCF reactive metabolites to hepatic tissues using a rat model of liver injury induced by co-treatment with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at a non-hepatotoxic dose. In studies done in vitro using hepatic microsomes prepared from rats treated with LPS alone, 4’- and 5-hydroxylation activities on DCF metabolism and adducts of reactive metabolites to dansyl glutathione (dGSH) were markedly decreased associated with a decrease in total P450 content. However, in studies done in vivo, the LPS/DCF co-treatment significantly increased adducts of 5-hydroxydiclofenac (5-OH-DCF) to rat hepatic tissues and delayed the elimination of 5-OH-DCF from plasma. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of co-treatment on hepatic GSH level in rats. A decrease of hepatic GSH was observed with the LPS/DCF co-treatment but not with LPS or DCF alone. The results suggest that covalent binding of reactive metabolites via 5-OH-DCF to hepatic tissues may play an important role in the onset of DCF-induced idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity, especially under decreased GSH conditions.