Serotonin-melatonin interactions in acetaminophen and N,N-dimethylformamide toxicity

Anoopkumar-Dukie, Shailendra (2000) Serotonin-melatonin interactions in acetaminophen and N,N-dimethylformamide toxicity. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Acetaminophen and N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) are compounds which are extremely toxic to the liver. Acetaminophen is a drug which is well known for its analgesic and antipyretic properties. However, the abuse potential of this agent as a non-narcotic analgesic in alcoholics is well known. It is also the leading cause of overdose in England. DMF toxicity results mainly from occupational exposure. At present there are no known reports of an antidote for DMF poisoning, while N-acetylcysteine, the antidote for acetaminophen poisoning, is known to produce adverse effects. The present study evaluates the potential of melatonin as an antidote for acetaminophen and DMF poisoning. This study also investigates the mechanism underlying acetaminophen addiction and abuse. Initial studies involved in vitro techniques in an attempt to remove the complexities of organ interactions. The photodegradation studies, using ultraviolet (UV) light, revealed that melatonin accelerates the rate of acetaminophen degradation in the presence of air, and reduces the rate of degradation in the presence of nitrogen. This study also revealed that melatonin is rapidly degraded in the presence of air, following UV irradiation. The effect of DMF on hydroxyl radical generation was also determined. DMF was shown to act as a free radical scavenger, rather that a generator of free radicals. The in vitro studies were followed by lipid peroxidation determination. DMF (0.4ml/kg and 0.8ml/kg) did not produce any significant increases in lipid peroxidation in the liver. Three different doses of acetaminophen (30mg/kg, 100mg/kg, and 500mg/kg) were administered to rats for seven days. Acetaminophen (500mg/kg) was shown to significantly increase (p<0.05) lipid peroxidation in the liver. Melatonin (2.5mg/kg) was not able to significantly reduce the damage. The lower doses of acetaminophen (30mg/kg and 100mg/kg) did not increase lipid peroxidation. Electron microscopy studies showed that DMF adversely affects the liver, and in particular, the endoplasmic reticulum. Co administration of melatonin (2.5mg/kg) was able to reduce the damage. Further experiments need to be performed before an accurate assessment can be made on the ability of melatonin as an antidote for DMF and acetaminophen poisoning. Several experiments were done in an attempt to uncover the biochemical mechanism underlying acetaminophen addiction and abuse. The first experiment targeted the liver enzyme tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO). This enzyme is the major determinant of tryptophan levels in vivo. Acetaminophen administration (100mg/kg for three hours) was shown to significantly inhibit (p<0.05) the activity of TDO, indicating increased peripheral levels of tryptophan. This experiment was followed up with determination of brain serotonin and pineal melatonin. Brain serotonin was determined using the ELISA technique. Melatonin was estimated using this technique as well as with pineal organ culture. Acetaminophen administration (100mg/kg for three hours) significantly increased (p<0.05) brain serotonin levels. Using organ culture where exogenous (3H) tryptophan is metabolised to (3H) melatonin, acetaminophen (100mg/kg for three hours) was shown to significantly increase (p<0.05) pineal melatonin concentrations. However, the ELISA technique did not reveal any changes in endogenous pineal melatonin levels. The final experiment was the determination of urinary 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5- HIAA), the major metabolite of serotonin, following acetaminophen administration (100mg/kg for three hours). Acetaminophen was shown to significantly reduce 5-HIAA levels (p<0.05) suggesting reduced catabolism of serotonin. The findings of this study indicate that acetaminophen mimics the actions of an antidepressant. This compelling finding has important clinical implications, and needs to be examined further.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Serotonin, Melatonin, Acetaminophen.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology
ID Code:2170
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:07 Nov 2011 10:22
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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