Reaction of the Liver upon Long-Term Treatment of Fluoxetine and Atorvastatin Compared with Alcohol in a Mouse Model

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Journal of Toxicology


Background. Alcoholism is known to cause liver toxicity and is extensively researched. On the other hand, stress, depression, and obesity are interrelated conditions with alcoholism, and their medications would affect the liver itself. In this study, we investigated the effects of the drugs fluoxetine and atorvastatin on the liver and compared with those of alcohol in a mouse model. Methods. Comparisons of animals treated with the three drugs were carried out: serum aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and albumin were measured; liver tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta-1) levels were evaluated; proliferative cells were detected via immunohistochemistry (IHC) targeting on proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and minichromosome maintenance complex component 2 (MCM2); for apoptosis, IHC targeting on activated caspase-3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) were employed; and histopathology was also documented in all groups. Results. For ALT, AST, albumin, and liver TNF alpha, only the ethanol group surged to significantly higher levels. For TGF beta-1, both ethanol and atorvastatin groups reached a significantly higher level. PCNA and MCM2 showed increased proliferation in the livers of all three groups, with the ethanol group having the highest number of positive cells followed by atorvastatin and then the fluoxetine group. As for cell death, both ethanol and fluoxetine groups showed significantly more apoptosis than control in TUNEL and activated caspase-3, while in the atorvastatin group, activated caspase-3 positive cells increased significantly, but the increase in TUNEL-positive cells did not reach statistical significance.

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