Many structurally unrealted hypolipidemic agents and certain phthalate-ester plasticizers induce hepatomegaly and proliferation of peroxisomes in liver parenchymal cells of rodents, but there is relatively limited evidence regarding the ability of such compounds to induce peroxisome proliferation in the livers of nonrodent species including man. The present study was designed to determine if DL-040 (4-(((1,3-benzodioxol)-5-yl)methyl)amino-benzoic acid), a newly developed hypolipidemic agent, induces peroxisome proliferation in the liver of adult rhesus monkeys. Feeding of DL-040 (300 mg/kg body wt for 1 week; and 400 mg/kg body wt for 10 weeks) caused a significant increase in peroxisome population as determined by ultrastructural and morphometric analyses. The DL-040-induced peroxisome proliferation was accompanied by increases in the levels of catalase, carnitine acetyltransferase and the peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation system. As expected, DL-040 caused a significant reduction of serum cholesterol and low density lipoprotein content. These data suggest that hepatic peroxisome proliferation is inducible in nonhuman primates at dose levels that exceed therapeutic levels.
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