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Modulation of acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity by the xenobiotic receptor CAR.

We have identified the xenobiotic receptor CAR (constitutive androstane receptor) as a key regulator of acetaminophen metabolism and hepatotoxicity. Known CAR activators as well as high doses of acetaminophen induced expression of three acetaminophen-metabolizing enzymes in wild-type but not in CAR null mice, and the CAR null mice were resistant to acetaminophen toxicity. Inhibition of CAR activity by administration of the inverse agonist ligand androstanol 1 hour after acetaminophen treatment blocked hepatotoxicity in wild type but not in CAR null mice. These results suggest an innovative therapeutic approach for treating the adverse effects of acetaminophen and potentially other hepatotoxic agents.

Pubmed ID: 12376703


  • Zhang J
  • Huang W
  • Chua SS
  • Wei P
  • Moore DD


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

October 11, 2002

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIDDK NIH HHS, Id: R01 DK46546

Mesh Terms

  • Acetaminophen
  • Acetylcysteine
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Androstanols
  • Animals
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Benzoquinones
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Humans
  • Imines
  • Isoenzymes
  • Liver
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating
  • Phenobarbital
  • Pyridines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors