Selective blockade of mGlu5 metabotropic glutamate receptors is protective against acetaminophen hepatotoxicity in mice

Marianna Storto, Richard Teke Ngomba, Giuseppe Battaglia, Isabel Freitas, Patrizia Griffini, Plinio Richelmi, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Mariapia Vairetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: mGlu5 metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonists protect rat hepatocytes against hypoxic death. Here, we have examined whether mGlu5 receptor antagonists are protective against liver damage induced by oxidative stress. Methods: Toxicity of isolated hepatocytes was induced by tert-butylhydroperoxide (t-BuOOH) after pretreatment with the mGlu5 receptor antagonists, MPEP, SIB-1757 and SIB-1893. The effect of these drugs was also examined in mice challenged with toxic doses of acetaminophen. Results: Addition of tBuOOH (0.5 mM) to isolated hepatocytes induced cell death (70 ± 5% at 3 h). Addition of MPEP or SIB-1893 to hepatocytes reduced both the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell toxicity induced by tBuOOH (tBuOOH = 70 ± 5%; tBuOOH + MPEP = 57 ± 6%; tBuOOH + SIB-1893 = 40 ± 4%). In mice, a single injection of acetaminophen (300 mg/kg, i.p.) induced centrilobular liver necrosis, which was detectable after 24 h. MPEP (20 mg/kg, i.p.) substantially reduced liver necrosis and the production of ROS, although it did not affect the conversion of acetaminophen into the toxic metabolite, N-acetylbenzoquinoneimine. MPEP, SIB-1893 and SIB-1757 (all at 20 mg/kg, i.p.) also reduced the increased expression and activity of liver iNOS induced by acetaminophen. Conclusions: We conclude that pharmacological blockade of mGlu5 receptors might represent a novel target for the treatment of drug-induced liver damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Acetaminophen
  • Cell damage
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Liver
  • mGlu5 receptor antagonist
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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