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The effects of N-acetylcysteine on the levels of glutathione, serum TNFα, and tissue malondialdehyde in sepsis

Objectives

This study was designed to determine the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as an antioxidant agent on the free oxygen radicals and their plasma levels.

Methods

In this study, 40 Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups as sham (n = 10), sepsis (n = 10), and sepsis + NAC (20 mg/kg/24 hours) (n = 10). An experimental sepsis model was performed by a cecal ligation and perforation (CLP). NAC was administered at 0, 8 and 16 hours after CLP. The blood samples were taken at 24 hours to determine the levels of serum TNFα and erythrocyte glutathione (GSH), and renal and liver tissue malondialdehyde (MDA).

Results

The serum TNFα levels were significantly decreased in group 3 compared with group 2 (P < 0.05). The erythrocyte GSH levels significantly increased in group 3 compared with group 2 (P < 0.05). In group 3, the liver MDA levels were decreased compared with group 2, but not statistically significant (P > 0.05) In group 3, the renal MDA levels were significantly decreased compared with group 2 (P < 0.05). The lung tissue PMNL levels significantly decreased in group 3 compared with group 2 (P < 0.05).

Conclusion

In an experimental sepsis model, with the administration of NAC as an antioxidant agent at lower doses, many meaningful positive effects were detected on the levels of erythrocyte GSH, serum TNFα, respiration function, and renal tissue MDA. In spite of the low dose, NAC therapies decrease the organ function abnormalities; these effects were not reflected in the histopathological investigations. These findings suggest that NAC could be a possible therapeutic agent for sepsis and its mortality. However, further studies are needed to elucidate the effects of these drugs at higher doses.

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Gul, M., Ayan, M., Seydanoglu, A. et al. The effects of N-acetylcysteine on the levels of glutathione, serum TNFα, and tissue malondialdehyde in sepsis. Crit Care 11, P9 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc5169

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Keywords

  • Antioxidant Agent
  • Cecal Ligation
  • Histopathological Investigation
  • Tissue Malondialdehyde
  • Experimental Sepsis Model