Drug-induced toxicity is often mediated by electrophilic metabolites, such as bioactivation of acetaminophen (APAP) to N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI). We have shown that APAP hepatotoxicity can be prevented by 2-acetylcyclopentanone (2-ACP). This 1,3-dicarbonyl compound ionizes to form an enolate nucleophile that scavenges NAPQI and other electrophilic intermediates. In this study, we expanded our investigation of enolate-forming compounds to include analyses of the phloretin pharmacophores, 2′,4′,6′-trihydroxyacetophenone (THA) and phloroglucinol (PG). Studies in a mouse model of APAP overdose showed that THA provided hepatoprotection when given either by intraperitoneal injection or oral administration, whereas PG was hepatoprotective only when given intraperitoneally. Corroborative research characterized the molecular pharmacology (efficacy, potency) of 2-ACP, THA, and PG in APAP-exposed isolated mouse hepatocytes. For comparative purposes, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) cytoprotection was also evaluated. Measurements of multiple cell parameters (e.g., cell viability, mitochondrial membrane depolarization) indicated that THA and, to a lesser extent, PG provided concentration-dependent protection against APAP toxicity, which exceeded that of 2-ACP or NAC. The enolate-forming compounds and NAC truncated ongoing APAP exposure and thereby returned intoxicated hepatocytes toward normal viability. The superior ability of THA to protect is related to multifaceted modes of action that include metal ion chelation, free radical trapping, and scavenging of NAPQI and other soft electrophiles involved in oxidative stress. The rank order of potency for the tested cytoprotectants was consistent with that determined in a parallel mouse model. These data suggest that THA or a derivative might be useful in treating drug-induced toxicities and other conditions that involve electrophile-mediated pathogenesis.
- Received November 23, 2015.
- Accepted March 22, 2016.
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [Grant R01ES00383028].
- Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics