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Thromboxane Inhibitors Attenuate Inflammatory and Fibrotic Changes in Rat Liver Despite Continued Ethanol Administrations


  • The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

Reprint requests: George L. Tipoe MD, PhD, Department of Anatomy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Tel.: +852-28199185; Fax: +852-28170857; E-mail:



Thromboxane levels are increased in rats fed ethanol (EtOH), whereas thromboxane inhibitors reduce alcoholic liver injury. The aim of this study is to determine whether thromboxane inhibitors could attenuate the already established alcoholic liver injury.


Rats were fed EtOH and liquid diet for 6 weeks by intragastric infusion to induce liver injury after which EtOH was continued for 2 more weeks, and the rats were treated with either a thromboxane synthase inhibitor (TXSI) or a thromboxane receptor antagonist (TXRA). Liver pathology, lipid peroxidation, nuclear factor-kappa-B (NF-κB) activity, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) were evaluated.


Administration of fish oil and EtOH caused fatty liver, necrosis, inflammation and fibrosis accompanied by increased in lipid peroxidation, NF-κB activity, and expression of TNF-α, COX-2, and TGF-β1. Treatment with the thromboxane inhibitors ameliorated a certain level of the pathological and biochemical abnormalities. In particular, TXSI in addition to reducing necrosis, inflammation and fibrosis also decrease the severity of fatty liver.


Thromboxane inhibitors attenuated the alcoholic liver injury, inflammation and fibrotic changes despite continued EtOH administration. Inhibition of the production of thromboxane by thromboxane inhibitor and receptor antagonists may be a useful treatment strategy in clinical alcoholic liver disease.