Acetyl-l-carnitine attenuates arsenic-induced liver injury by abrogation of mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, and apoptosis in rats.Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2018 Mar; 58:11-20.ET
Industrial and agricultural developments in recent years have resulted in the excessive discharge of arsenic into the environment, making arsenic toxicity a major worldwide concern. Oxidative stress is considered the primary mechanism for arsenic toxicity. The main objective of this study was to evaluate acetyl-l-carnitine's (ALC) protective ability against the arsenic-induced hepatotoxicity. For this purpose, male Wistar rats were distributed randomly into 5 groups of 8 rats each: control, arsenic (5 mg/kg) and arsenic plus ALC (5 mg/kg; 100, 200, 300 mg/kg). The animals were gavaged for 21 consecutive days. Liver tissue samples were extracted 24 h after the last treatment and were later analyzed for biochemical and histological alterations. The arsenic-induced oxidative damage was confirmed by elevation of malondialdehyde (MDA), a lipid peroxidation byproduct, as well as depletion in physiological antioxidant content such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). Furthermore, alterations in mitochondrial functions including a significant decrease of mitochondrial outer membrane potential and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation increase, mitochondrial swelling, release of cytochrome c and consequent activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 and initiation of apoptosis, was observed following arsenic administration. Moreover, the inflammation was confirmed by the overexpression of inflammatory mediators such as NF-ĸB and IL-1 and IL-6. The present study demonstrated that ALC ameliorates arsenic-induced oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, inflammation and histological damage. ALC's protective features against arsenic hepatotoxicity may be due to this agent's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as its stabilizing effects on mitochondrial function.