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A mitochondrial journey through acetaminophen hepatotoxicity

Ramachandran, Anup, Jaeschke, Hartmut
Food and chemical toxicology 2020 v.140 pp. 111282
acetaminophen, glutathione, hepatotoxicity, liver, liver failure, metabolites, mitochondria, mitogen-activated protein kinase, overdose, oxidants, pathophysiology, permeability, United States
Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States and APAP-induced hepatotoxicity is initiated by formation of a reactive metabolite which depletes hepatic glutathione and forms protein adducts. Studies over the years have established the critical role of c-Jun N terminal kinase (JNK) and its mitochondrial translocation, as well as mitochondrial oxidant stress and subsequent induction of the mitochondrial permeability transition in APAP pathophysiology. However, it is now evident that mitochondrial responses to APAP overdose are more nuanced than appreciated earlier, with multiple levels of control, for example, to dose of APAP. In addition, mitochondrial dynamics, as well as the organelle's importance in recovery and regeneration after APAP-induced liver injury is also being recognized, which are exciting new areas with significant therapeutic potential. Thus, this review examines the temporal course of hepatocyte mitochondrial responses to an APAP overdose with an emphasis on mechanistic response to various trigger checkpoints such as NAPQI-mitochondrial protein adduct formation and activated JNK translocation. Mitochondrial dynamics, the organelle's role in recovery after APAP and emerging areas of research which promise to provide further insight into modulation of APAP pathophysiology by these fascinating organelles will also be discussed.