Protection against TNF-induced liver parenchymal cell apoptosis during endotoxemia by a novel caspase inhibitor in mice

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology








Caspase inhibitor; Caspase processing; DNA fragmentation; Endotoxin-induced liver failure; Liver cell necrosis; TNF-induced apoptosis


Excessive apoptotic cell death is implicated in a growing number of acute and chronic disease states. Caspases are critical for the intracellular signaling pathway leading to apoptosis. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the efficacy and the mechanism of action of the novel caspase inhibitor CV1013 in a well-characterized model of TNF-induced apoptosis. Administration of 700 mg/kg galactosamine/100 μg/kg endotoxin (Gal/ET) induced hepatocellular apoptosis in C3Heb/FeJ mice as indicated by increased caspase-3 activity (706% above controls) and enhanced DNA fragmentation (3400% above controls) at 6 h. In addition apoptosis was aggravated by the neutrophil-induced injury at 7 h (ALT activities: 4220 ± 960 U/L and 48 ± 4% necrosis). All animals died 8-12 h after Gal/ET treatment from shock and liver failure. A dose of 10 or 1 mg/kg of CV1013 administered three times (3 4.5 and 5.5 h after Gal/ET) effectively prevented caspase-3 activation and parenchymal cell apoptosis at 6 h as well as the subsequent neutrophil-induced aggravation of the injury at 7 h after Gal/ET treatment. Animals treated with 10 mg/kg CV1013 survived for 24 h without liver injury. CV1013 reduced the processing of caspase-3 and caspase-8. This suggests that CV1013 may have inhibited the small amount of active caspase-8 generated at the receptor level. Because of the multiple amplification loops used to activate the entire caspase cascade blocking the initial intracellular signal by CV1013 was highly effective in preventing apoptotic cell death. CV1013 has therapeutic potential for disease states with excessive apoptosis. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

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