Amino Acids

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 255–266 | Cite as

Effect ofN-acetylcysteine administration on cysteine and glutathione contents in liver and kidney and in perfused liver of intact and diethyl maleate-treated rats

  • W. -B. Yao
  • Y. -Q. Zhao
  • T. Abe
  • J. Ohta
  • T. Ubuka


Effect ofN-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) administration on cysteine and glutathione (GSH) contents in rat liver and kidney was studied using intact and diethyl maleate (DEM)-treated rats and perfused rat liver. Cysteine contents increased rapidly, reaching peak at 10 min after intraperitoneal NAC administration. In liver mitochondria it increased slowly, reaching peak at 60 min. GSH content did not change significantly in these tissues. However, in liver and kidney depleted of GSH with DEM, NAC administration restored GSH contents in 60 and 120 min, respectively. Perfusion with 10 mM NAC resulted in 76% increase in liver cysteine content, but not in GSH content. Liver perfusion of DEM-injected rats with 10 mM NAC restored GSH content by 15%. Present findings indicate that NAC is an effective precursor of cysteine in the intact liver and kidney and in the perfused rat liver, and that NAC stimulated GSH synthesis in GSH-depleted tissues.


Amino acids N-Acetylcysteine Cysteine Glutathione Diethyl maleate Perfused rat liver 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. -B. Yao
    • 1
  • Y. -Q. Zhao
    • 1
  • T. Abe
    • 1
  • J. Ohta
    • 1
  • T. Ubuka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryOkayama University Medical SchoolOkayamaJapan

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