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S-Adenosylmethionine Exerts a Protective Effect Against Thioacetamide-induced Injury in Primary Cultures of Rat Hepatocytes

Halka Lotková, Zuzana Cvervinková, Otto Kucvera, Tomáš Roušar and Pavla Krviváková

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) has been shown to protect hepatocytes from toxic injury, both experimentally-induced in animals and in isolated hepatocytes. The mechanisms by which SAMe protects hepatocytes from injury can result from the pathways of SAMe metabolism. Unfortunately, data documenting the protective effect of SAMe against mitochondrial damage from toxic injury are not widely available. Thioacetamide is frequently-used as a model hepatotoxin, which causes in vivo centrilobular necrosis. Even though thioacetamide-induced liver necrosis in rats was alleviated by SAMe, the mechanisms of this protective effect remain to be verified. The aim of our study was to determine the protective mechanisms of SAMe on thioacetamide-induced hepatocyte injury by using primary hepatocyte cultures. The release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) from cells incubated with thioacetamide for 24 hours, was lowered by simultaneous treatment with SAMe, in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory effect of SAMe on thioacetamide-induced lipid peroxidation paralleled the effect on cytotoxicity. A decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential, as determined by Rhodamine 123 accumulation, was also prevented. The attenuation by SAMe of thioacetamide-induced glutathione depletion was determined after subsequent incubation periods of 48 and 72 hours. SAMe protects both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial membranes. This effect was more pronounced during the development of thioacetamide-induced hepatocyte injury that was mediated by lipid peroxidation. Continuation of the SAMe treatment then led to a reduction in glutathione depletion, as a potential consequence of an increase in glutathione production, for which SAMe is a precursor.