Galactosamine decreases nitric oxide formation in cultured rat hepatocytes: Lack of involvement in cytotoxicity

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5 Scopus citations


Galactosamine hepatotoxicity in vivo has long been associated with rapid and extensive depletion of hepatic uridine nucleotides. Depletion of uridine nucleotides is considered to be causal in the toxicity, as evidenced by the protective effect of uridine administration. However, the exact mechanism of galactosamine-induced hepatic necrosis is still unclear. We have previously shown that the addition of galactosamine to rat primary hepatocyte cultures dramatically decreases production of nitric oxide, as measured in the 24 hour culture medium. The present study investigates whether decreased nitric oxide production contributes to the toxicity of galactosamine in primary hepatocyte cultures. Similar concentration-response curves were observed for the decrease in nitric oxide production and galactosamine cytotoxicity, raising the possibility that there is a similar mechanism for these effects. Suppression of NO synthesis was a direct effect of galactosamine, rather than an indirect effect due to loss of cells from the cultures. Both cytotoxicity and the decrease in nitric oxide production were attenuated by coaddition of 3 mM uridine. However, galactosamine cytotoxicity was not enhanced by prior inhibition of hepatocellular NO synthesis nor was it attenuated by maintenance of culture NO levels with molsidomine or diethylamine NONOate. These data do not support a role for decreased hepatocyte nitric oxide production in galactosamine hepatocyte toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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