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Hepatotoxicity induced by psoralen and isopsoralen from Fructus Psoraleae: Wistar rats are more vulnerable than ICR mice

Wang, Yu, Zhang, Hong, Jiang, Jia-Ming, Zheng, Dan, Chen, Yu-Yu, Wan, Shi-Jie, Tan, Hong-Sheng, Tang, Li-Ming, Xu, Hong-Xi
Food and chemical toxicology 2019 v.125 pp. 133-140
bile acids, excretion, hepatocytes, hepatotoxicity, histopathology, laboratory animals, liver, mice, psoralen, rats, toxicology
Fructus Psoraleae (FP) causes cholestatic liver injury; however, its main toxic constituents that are responsible for causing hepatotoxicity remained undetermined in previous studies. In the present study, psoralen and isopsoralen, the two main constituents of FP, were administered orally to rats (80 and 40 mg/kg, respectively) and mice (320 and 160 mg/kg, respectively) for 28 days, followed by biochemical and histopathological examinations to evaluate their hepatotoxicity. The results showed that psoralen and isopsoralen could induce the toxic reactions of liver and other organs in rats, while mice were not sensitive to these two compounds. Furthermore, the corresponding results indicated that administration of psoralen and isopsoralen repressed the expression of CYP7A1, BSEP, MRP2 and SULT2A1 and increased the expression of FXR and MRP3 in the rat liver. In summary, the toxic reactions of psoralen and isopsoralen are different in different species. In this study, multiple organ toxicity, such as cholestatic liver injury, occurs in rats, but not in mice. Psoralen and isopsoralen are the two main toxic constituents of FP. In addition, psoralen and isopsoralen cause liver injury, possibly through inhibiting bile acid excretion in the liver, leading to the accumulation of toxin in hepatocytes.