• RASHA N. ABU-AJAMIEH Department of Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Petra, Amman, Jordan
  • BAYAN Y. GHANIM University of Petra Pharmaceutical Center (UPPC), University of Petra, Amman, Jordan
  • OMAR S. GAMMOH Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Madaba, Madaba, Jordan
  • NIDAL A. QINNA Department of Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Petra, Amman, Jordan, University of Petra Pharmaceutical Center (UPPC), University of Petra, Amman, Jordan


Objective: Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose contributes to liver damage through modulation of pro-apoptotic processing. This study evaluated the involvement of caspase/Bax factors in APAP hepatotoxicity in vivo and in vitro.

Methods: The involvement of caspase/Bax factors in APAP hepatotoxicity was evaluated in BALB/c mice and on isolated primary mouse hepatocytes. In vitro MTT assay was carried out on primary cultured mouse hepatocytes treated with APAP (2.5, 5, 10 mmol) and Annexin V/PI staining was employed to cell suspension for imaging under fluorescence microscopy. In addition, caspase-3 concentrations were determined in cell lysates. In vivo, mice were treated with a toxic dose of APAP (700 mg/kg) and immunodetection of Bax was made by Western Blot. Vitamin C (Vit C) was used as a hepato-protectant due to its known antioxidant activities.

Results: In vitro dose-dependent increase in mitochondrial electron transport capacity was evident in isolated mouse primary hepatocytes incubated with the high dose of APAP (10 mmol) compared to both nontreated cells and cells pre-treated with Vitamin C (Vit C) (0.5 mmol) (p<0.05). Apoptosis was confirmed in hepatocytes through Annexin V staining after APAP treatment and the signal was reduced when hepatocytes were pre-treated with Vit C. In addition, caspase-3 concentration was decreased in cells pretreated with Vit C prior to APAP exposure. In vivo, Bax immunodetection utilizing western blotting was increased in mice treated with the toxic dose of APAP (700 mg/kg) and attenuated through pre-treatment with Vit C.

Conclusion: Modulation of apoptotic caspase/Bax pathway is present in hepatocytes undergoing APAP-induced toxicity.

Keywords: Liver injury, Hepatoprotection, Hepatotoxicity, Cell proliferation, Programmed cell death, Mitochondrial stress


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How to Cite
ABU-AJAMIEH, R. N., B. Y. GHANIM, O. S. GAMMOH, and N. A. QINNA. “HEPATOCYTE APOPTOSIS INDUCTION BY ACETAMINOPHEN THROUGH MODULATION OF CASPASE/BAX PATHWAY IN MICE”. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 12, no. 11, Nov. 2020, pp. 47-52, doi:10.22159/ijpps.2020v12i11.39141.
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