Protective Effects of Vitamin C and NAC on the Toxicity of Rifampin on Hepg2 Cells

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 Department of Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Biotechnology Research Center, Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Faculty of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, 91775-1365, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Rifampin, an antibiotic widely used for the treatment of mycobacterial infections, produces
hepatic, renal and bone marrow toxicity in human and animals. In this study, the protective
effects of vitamin C and n-acetylcysteine (NAC) on the toxicity of rifampin on HepG2 cells
were investigated.
Human hepatoma cells (HepG2) were cultured in 96-well M of rifampin in the presence of
microplate and exposed to 10, 20, 50 and 100 vitamin C (0.1 mg/mL) and NAC (0.2 mg/mL).
Protective effect of the two drugs against rifampin toxicity was assessed by MTT assay.
Results show that both vitamin C and NAC significantly inhibited HepG2 cellular damage
due to rifampin, and vitamin C was relatively more potent than NAC. Rifampin is metabolized
by the liver and its toxic metabolites are responsible for the drug›s hepatic toxicity. Based on
our results, it seems that reactive metabolites are the main agents responsible for rifampin
hepatotoxicity. The importance of this finding is that if vitamin C or NAC do not affect the
antibacterial activity of rifampin, they could be used as preventive agents in rifampin users.

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