Several antioxidants have been shown to reduce lysosomal phospholipidosis, which is a potential mechanism of amiodarone toxicity, and prevent amiodarone toxicity by antioxidant and/or non-antioxidant mechanisms. The aim of this study was to test whether the co-administration of two structurally different antioxidants vitamin E and silymarin with amiodarone can reduce amiodarone-induced lysosomal phospholipidosis, and if yes, by reducing the tissue concentration of amiodarone and desethylamiodarone or by their antioxidant action. To this end, male Fischer 344 rats were treated by gavage once a day for 3 weeks and randomly assigned to the following four experimental groups: 1, control; 2, amiodarone (150 mg/(kg per day)); 3, amiodarone (150 mg/(kg per day)) plus vitamin E (100 mg/(kg per day)); 4, amiodarone (150 mg/(kg per day)) plus silymarin (60 mg/(kg per day)) treated groups. Total plasma phospholipid (PL), liver-conjugated diene, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARSs), amiodarone and desethylamiodarone concentrations were determined and the extent of lysosomal phospholipidosis in the liver was estimated by a semi-quantitative electron microscopic method. Amiodarone treatment increased significantly the liver-conjugated diene (P<0.001), TBARS (P=0.012), plasma total PL (P<0.001) concentrations compared with control. Antioxidants combined with amiodarone significantly decreased the liver-conjugated diene (P<0.001 for both), TBARS (P=0.016 for vitamin E, P=0.053 borderline for silymarin) and plasma total PL (P=0.058 borderline for vitamin E, P<0.01 for silymarin) concentrations compared with amiodarone treatment alone. Silymarin significantly (P=0.021) reduced liver amiodarone, but only tended to decrease desethylamiodarone concentration; however, vitamin E failed to do so. Amiodarone treatment increased lysosomal phospholipidosis (P<0.001) estimated by semi-quantitative electron microscopic method and both antioxidants combined with amiodarone reduced significantly (P<0.001 for both) the amiodarone-induced lysosomal phospholipidosis. In conclusion, silymarin presumably reduced lysosomal phospholipidosis by both antioxidant action and its liver amiodarone concentration decreasing effect, while vitamin E exerted similar effect by antioxidant action alone. Thus, both antioxidant action and inhibition of tissue uptake of amiodarone might have an important role in the preventative effect of antioxidants against amiodarone toxicity.
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