Protection Against Acetaminophen Hepatotoxicity by Ribose-Cysteine (RibCys)



Abstract: 2(RS)-D-ribo-(1′, 2′, 3′, 4′-Tetrahydroxybutyl)thiazolidine-4(R)-carboxylic acid (Ribose-Cysteine, RibCys), a latent form of L-cysteine, releases the sulfhydryl amino acid in vivo by non-enzymatic ring opening and solvolysis. The liberated L-cysteine then stimulates hepatic glutathione biosynthesis. In the present studies, the efficacy of hepatoprotection by RibCys was evaluated to explore its potential utility as an acetaminophen (APAP) antidote. Protection was evaluated in the Swiss-Webster mouse model both by survival data as well as by quantitative histological criteria of hepatic damage. A dose-response study showed increased protection with increased intraperitoneal doses of RibCys ranging from 0.5 to 8.0 mmol/kg. RibCys administration 30 min. prior to and up to four hours after the APAP dose showed varying degrees of protection; however, the best protection was seen when RibCys was given shortly after APAP administration. A single RibCys dose given by the intraperitoneal or intravenous route gave better protection than when administered orally; however, RibCys given in three doses, one hour apart, regardless of the mode of administration, offered the best protection after an LD90 dose of APAP. Overall, RibCys continues to exhibit promising protective capabilities against APAP hepatotoxicity, which may be capitalized upon in clinical overdose situations.