AMAP, the alleged non-toxic isomer of acetaminophen, is toxic in rat and human liver

M Hadi, S. Dragovic, R van Swelm, B Herpers, B. van de Water, RG Russel, J.N.M. Commandeur, G.M. Groothuis

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


N-acetyl-meta-aminophenol (AMAP) is generally considered as a non-toxic regioisomer of the wellknown hepatotoxicant acetaminophen (APAP). However, so far, AMAP has only been shown to be non-toxic in mice and hamsters. To investigate whether AMAP could also be used as non-toxic analog of APAP in rat and human, the toxicity of APAP and AMAP was tested ex vivo in precision- cut liver slices (PCLS) of mouse, rat and human. Based on ATP content and histomorphology, APAP was more toxic in mouse than in rat and human PCLS. Surprisingly, although AMAP showed a much lower toxicity than APAP in mouse PCLS, AMAP was equally toxic as or even more toxic than APAP at all concentrations tested in both rat and human PCLS. The profile of proteins released into the medium of AMAP-treated rat PCLS was similar to that of APAP, whereas in the medium of mouse PCLS, it was similar to the control. Metabolite profiling indicated that mouse PCLS produced the highest amount of glutathione conjugate of APAP, while no glutathione conjugate of AMAP was detected in all three species. Mouse also produced ten times more hydroquinone metabolites of AMAP, the assumed proximate reactive metabolites, than rat or human. In conclusion, AMAP is toxic in rat and human liver and cannot be used as non-toxic isomer of APAP. The marked species differences in APAP andAMAPtoxicity and metabolism underline the importance of using human tissues for better prediction of toxicity in man. © The Author(s) 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-165
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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