Background/Aims: Reactive oxygen radicals play an important role in various forms of liver injury. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of edaravone, a newly synthesized free radical scavenger, in its clinical dosage on an experimental model of acute liver injury in rats. Methods: The clinical dose of edaravone (3 mg/kg) was intravenously administered immediately and 3h after intraperitoneal administration of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in rats. Histological evaluation including apoptosis and cytokine profiles were examined. Results: Fatty degeneration and necrosis with marked elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase levels developed after CCl4 administration were significantly reduced by edaravone. In addition, the apoptotic index assessed by TUNEL method was significantly lowered in the edaravone treated group. Serum and liver transcription levels of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-4, and interleukin-10 were increased following CCl4 administration, and they were attenuated by edaravone treatment. The formation of malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxynonenal adduct and one of the markers for oxidative DNA damage, 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine, was also inhibited by edaravone treatment. Conclusion: Edaravone has a remarkable protective effect on acute liver injury caused by oxygen radicals through not only attenuating the membrane lipid peroxidation, but also inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. We theorize that edaravone may have a clinical benefit in the treatment of various liver injuries.
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