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Chemico-biological interactions

Biotransformation and cytotoxic effects of hydroxychavicol, an intermediate of safrole metabolism, in isolated rat hepatocytes.


PMID 19428348

Abstract

The biotransformation and cytotoxic effects of hydroxychavicol (HC; 1-allyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzene), which is a catecholic component in piper betel leaf and a major intermediary metabolite of safrole in rats and humans, was studied in freshly isolated rat hepatocytes. The exposure of hepatocytes to HC caused not only concentration (0.25-1.0mM)- and time (0-3h)-dependent cell death accompanied by the loss of cellular ATP, adenine nucleotide pools, reduced glutathione, and protein thiols, but also the accumulation of glutathione disulfide and malondialdehyde, indicating lipid peroxidation. At a concentration of 1mM, the cytotoxic effects of safrole were less than those of HC. The loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and generation of oxygen radical species assayed using 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluoresein diacetate (DCFH-DA) in hepatocytes treated with HC were greater than those with safrole. HC at a weakly toxic level (0.25 and/or 0.50mM) was metabolized to monoglucuronide, monosulfate, and monoglutathione conjugates, which were identified by mass spectra and/or (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance spectra. The amounts of sulfate rather than glucuronide or glutathione conjugate predominantly increased, accompanied by a loss of the parent compound, with time. In hepatocytes pretreated with either diethyl maleate or salicylamide, HC-induced cytotoxicity was enhanced, accompanied by a decrease in the formation of these conjugates and by the inhibition of HC loss. Taken collectively, our results indicate that (a) mitochondria are target organelles for HC, which elicits cytotoxicity through mitochondrial failure related to mitochondrial membrane potential at an early stage and subsequently lipid peroxidation through oxidative stress at a later stage; (b) the onset of cytotoxicity depends on the initial and residual concentrations of HC rather than those of its metabolites; (c) the toxicity of HC is greater than that of safrole, suggesting the participation of a catecholic intermediate in safrole cytotoxicity in rat hepatocytes.

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