Hinson, Jack A.; Reid, Angela B.; McCullough, Sandra S.; James, Laura P.
|Journal||Drug Metabolism Reviews|
Large doses of the analgesic acetaminophen cause centrilobular hepatic necrosis in man and in experimental animals. It has been previously shown that acetaminophen is metabolically activated by CYP enzymes to N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine. This species is normally detoxified by GSH, but following a toxic dose GSH is depleted and the metabolite covalently binds to a number of different proteins. Covalent binding occurs only to the cells developing necrosis. Recently we showed that these cells also contain nitrated tyrosine residues. Nitrotyrosine is mediated by peroxynitrite, a reactive nitrogen species formed by rapid reaction between nitric oxide and superoxide and is normally detoxified by GSH. Thus, acetaminophen toxicity occurs with increased oxygen/nitrogen stress. This manuscript will review current data on acetaminophen covalent binding, increased oxygen/nitrogen stress, and mitochondrial permeability transition, a toxic mechanism that is both mediated by and leads to increased oxygen/nitrogen stress.