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Abstract

Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) activates several hepatotoxins and contributes to alcoholic liver damage. Obesity is a growing health problem in the United States. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether acetone- or pyrazole-mediated induction of CYP2E1 can potentiate liver injury in obesity. CYP2E1 protein and activity were elevated in acetone- or pyrazole-treated obese and lean mice. Acetone or pyrazole induced distinct histological changes in liver and significantly higher aminotransferase enzymes in obese mice compared to obese controls or acetone- or pyrazole-treated lean mice. Higher caspase-3 activity and numerous apoptotic hepatocytes were observed in the acetone- or pyrazole-treated obese mice. Increased protein carbonyls, malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxynonenal-protein adducts, elevated levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase, and higher 3-nitrotyrosine protein adducts were found in livers of acetone- or pyrazole-treated obese animals, suggesting elevated oxidative and nitrosative stress. Liver tumor necrosis factor α levels were higher in pyrazole-treated animals. The CYP2E1 inhibitor chlormethiazole and iNOS inhibitor N-(3-(aminomethyl)-benzyl) acetamidine abrogated the toxicity and the oxidative/nitrosative stress elicited by the induction of CYP2E1. Conclusion: These results show that obesity contributes to oxidative stress and liver injury and that induction of CYP2E1 enhances these effects. (HEPATOLOGY 2007;45:1355–1365.)