Liver Toxicity of Thioacetamide is Increased by Hepatocellular Iron Overload

Zvi Ackerman*, Orit Pappo, Gabriela Link, Maya Glazer, Maria Grozovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


An increase in hepatic iron concentration might exacerbate liver injury. However, it is unknown whether hepatic iron overload may exacerbate acute liver injury from various toxins. Therefore, we evaluated how manipulations to increase hepatic iron concentration affected the extent of acute liver injury from thioacetamide. In this study, we used rats with either “normal” or increased hepatic iron concentration. Iron overload was induced by either providing excess iron in the diet or by injecting iron subcutaneously. Both routes of providing excess iron induced an increase in hepatic iron overload. Meanwhile, the subcutaneous route induced both hepatocellular and sinusoidal cell iron deposition; the oral route induced lesser degree of hepatic iron concentration and only hepatocellular iron overload. Thioacetamide administration to the rats with “normal” hepatic iron concentration induced hepatic cell necrosis and apoptosis associated with a remarkable increase in serum aminotransaminases and depletion of hepatic glutathione and other antioxidative indices. Thioacetamide administration to the iron-overloaded rats exacerbated the extent of liver injury only in the rats orally induced with iron overload. In the rats subcutaneously induced with iron overload, the extent of liver injury from thioacetamide was not different from that observed in the rats with “normal” iron overload. It was concluded that the outcome of thioacetamide-induced acute liver injury may depend on both the level of hepatic iron concentration and on the cellular distribution of iron. While isolated hepatocellular iron overload may exacerbate thioacetamide-induced acute liver injury, a combined hepatocellular and sinusoidal cell iron deposition, even at high hepatic iron concentration, had no such an effect.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Acute liver injury
  • Hepatocellular iron overload
  • Oxidative/antioxidative milieu
  • Sinusoidal iron overload
  • Thioacetamide


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