Methimazole is the most widely prescribed antithyroid medication in humans. However, hepatotoxicity is a deleterious adverse effect associated with methimazole administration. No specific protective agent has been developed against this complication yet. This study was designed to investigate the role of taurine as a hepatoprotective agent against methimazole-induced liver injury in mice. Different reactive metabolites were proposed to be responsible for methimazole hepatotoxicity. Hence, methimazole-induced liver injury was investigated in intact and/or enzyme-induced animals in the current investigation. Animals were treated with methimazole (200 mg/kg, by gavage), and hepatic injury induced by this drug was investigated in intact and/or enzyme-induced groups. Markers such as lipid peroxidation, hepatic glutathione content, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in plasma, and histopathological changes in the liver of animals were monitored after drug administration. Methimazole caused liver injury as revealed by increased plasma ALT. Furthermore, a significant amount of lipid peroxidation was detected in the drug-treated animals, and hepatic glutathione reservoirs were depleted. Methimazole-induced hepatotoxicity was more severe in enzyme-induced mice. The above-mentioned alterations in hepatotoxicity markers were endorsed by significant histopathological changes in the liver. Taurine administration (1 g/kg, i.p.) effectively alleviated methimazole-induced liver injury in both intact and/or enzyme-induced animals.
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