Pyrrolizidine alkaloids have long been considered to be hepatotoxic in man as well as in grazing animals. To investigate the effect of liver cell division induced by thioacetamide on the hepatic changes induced by these alkaloids, rats were treated concurrently with thioacetamide and the pyrrolizidine alkaloid lasiocarpine. Thioacetamide was given intraperitoneally in a dose of 50 mg/kg b. wt twice weekly and lasiocarpine was administered in the diet at a concentration of 50 ppm. At 15 weeks, the combination of thioacetamide and lasiocarpine produced numerous grossly visible grey nodules in livers of 26 of 30 rats. Microscopically, these livers revealed a severe degree of postnecrotic cirrhosis and numerous hyperplastic nodules. The cells in most nodules were arranged in solid sheets or in a trabecular pattern and showed atypia, mitosis and hyperchromasia. In contrast, there was no evidence of cirrhosis or nodule formation in livers of animals treated with either lasiocarpine or thioacetamide alone. The rapid development of liver lesions in rats treated simultaneously with low doses of lasiocarpine and thioacetamide suggests that cell proliferation accentuates the development of neoplasia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research