The changes in the hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes induced by the liver tumor promoter thiobenzamide (TB) were investigated. Feeding of TB to rats at a promoting regimen (1 g/kg of diet for 2 weeks) resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of liver microsomal cytochrome P-450 and of total heme. Also, the activity of cytochrome P-450 dependent monooxygenases (aminopyrine demethylase, arylhydrocarbonmonooxygenase and ethoxycoumarindeethylase) and FAD-containing monoxygenase (N,N-dimethylaniline N-oxidase and TB S-oxidase) were depressed. By contrast, phase II enzymes such as epoxide hydrase, UDP-glucuronyl transferase and GSH-transferase were significantly induced. This overall change in the drug metabolizing system was associated with tolerance of the liver towards a high necrogenic dose of TB itself as well as with an increase of mitoses and apoptosis of the hepatocytes. The findings suggest a possible relationship between this TB-induced adaptive response and the promoting activity of the compound on liver carcinogenesis.
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