Low amounts of 1,2-dibromoethane (DBE), not able per se to exert pro-oxidant and cytotoxic activity on rat hepatocyte suspensions, become effective when administered with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), due to impairment of the glutathione transferase detoxication pathway by CCl4. Treatment of rats with a single dose of ethanol (2.5 g/kg body wt) 2 h before liver cell isolation potentiates the effect of DBE alone on both malonaldehyde formation and lactate dehydrogenase release by the hepatocyte. The potentiation of the DBE effects by ethanol may be through a series of mechanisms, such as a strong inactivation of hepatocyte glutathione transferase similar to that caused by CCl4, an increased basal level of lipid peroxidation and a significant loss of total glutathione.
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