Repression of oxidative stress/reactive metabolite regulated gene expression is associated with conversion of carbamazepine into a hepatotoxicant in LPS and DSS rat models


Idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity accounts for many drug failures in the clinic and is a leading cause for black-boxed and withdrawn drugs. This toxicity has proven difficult to predict preclinically, but correlates with oxidative stress/reactive metabolites (OS/RM). As noted previously for antiepileptic compounds, many drugs causing idiosyncratic adverse drug effects are detected by OS/RM gene expression responses in the rat. In the present study, two immune activation models, low dose lipopolysaccharide (1 mg/kg IV) and 5% dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) in drinking water, were examined to determine if either would convert the non-toxic idiosyncratic toxicant carbamazepine (225 mg/kg) into a rat hepatotoxicant at 24 hours. Using the low dose LPS model, about 1/3 of the carbamazepine-treated rats either showed robust ALT and AST elevations with histopathological evidence of hepatotoxicity, or died. Rats in this LPS/carbamazepine group were subdivided based on ALT values into non-responders, responders or robust responders. Whereas most carbamazepine-induced mRNAs were repressed by LPS across all rats in this group, the OS/ RM genes aflatoxin aldehyde reductase (Afar) and glutathione transferase Ya (Gstya) were repressed only in the robust responder subgroup; it is unclear whether repression of these genes contributes to or results from hepatotoxicity. The OS/RM gene microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEphx) showed repression across all rats. NAD(P)H: menadione oxidoreductase (Nmor) is an OS/RM-responsive gene that is also induced by LPS, confounding interpretation of its changes. After pretreatment with 5% DSS at 24 hours or for 5 days, using a protocol that reportedly produces increased endotoxin absorption, carbamazepine was not converted to a hepatototoxicant in any rats. Instead, DSS produced a pronounced (2- to 6-fold) and selective potentiation of carbamazepine induction of OS/RM-responsive mRNAs. The lack of repressive effects of DSS on these mRNAs or in converting carbamazepine to a hepatotoxicant was not due to desensitization of endotoxin responses since LPS was at least as effective when administered to DSS-pretreated rats. OS/RM gene repression may contribute to development of hepatotoxicity of carbamazepine in immune activation models.

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Leone, A. , Saleh, E. , Proctor, S. , Kelley, M. , Kao, L. , Varacallo, L. , Taggart, P. , McCarthy, J. , Singer, M. and McMillian, M. (2014) Repression of oxidative stress/reactive metabolite regulated gene expression is associated with conversion of carbamazepine into a hepatotoxicant in LPS and DSS rat models. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 5, 216-229. doi: 10.4236/abb.2014.53028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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