The Effect of Short‐Term Periodic Fasting on the Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Injury in Mice

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Microbiology and Virology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Antimicrobial Resistance Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Student Research Committee, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: In many cultures fasting is recommended as a way to protect and promote health. However, there are few studies on the effects of fasting on organ function and resistance to toxic agents such as drugs. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of short-term periodic fasting on the acetaminophen hepatotoxic effects in mice. Methods: In this experimental study, BALB/c female mice were used to investigate the effect of short-term periodic fasting (3 consecutive days, every 2 weeks for ten weeks) on serum aminotransferases (AST and ALT) level and hepatotoxic effects induced by acetaminophen. After ten weeks of periodic fasting, 500 mg/kg acetaminophen was injected intraperitoneally to mice. 24 hours later, AST and ALT levels were measured and then the mice were sacrificed to evaluate their liver injury severity using the pathological method as the gold standard. Results: Our results showed that AST and ALT enzymes increased in the control groupof mice (P = 0.0098 & P = 0.0004, respectively (Mann-Whitney test)) which was associated with high-grade liver injury (P = 0.001 (Fishers Exact test)). In contrast, the fasting group of mice showed slight changes in the amount of AST and ALT enzymes associated with low-grade liver injury. Conclusion: Acetaminophen is a common cause of drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Our findings in the current study showed that fasting can protect important organs such as the liver against the toxic effects of drugs. This study in mice could provide insight into human states.


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