Purpose: Triptans are the drug category mostly prescribed for abortive treatment of migraine. Most recent cases of liver toxicity induced by triptans have been described, but the mechanisms of liver toxicity of these medications have not been clear.
Methods: In the present study, we obtained LC50 using dose-response curve and investigated cell viability, free radical generation, lipid peroxide production, mitochondrial injury, lysosomal membrane damage and the cellular glutathione level as toxicity markers as well as the beneficial effects of taurine and/or N-acetyl cysteine in the sumatriptan-treated rat parenchymal hepatocytes using accelerated method of cytotoxicity mechanism screening.
Results: It was revealed that liver toxicity induced by sumatriptan in in freshly isolated parenchymal hepatocytes is dose-dependent. Sumatriptan caused significant free radical generation followed by lipid peroxide formation, mitochondrial injury as well as lysosomal damage. Moreover, sumatriptan reduced cellular glutathione content. Taurine and N-acetyl cysteine were able to protect hepatocytes against sumatriptan-induced harmful effects.
Conclusion: It is concluded that sumatriptan causes oxidative stress in hepatocytes and the decreased hepatocytes glutathione has a key role in the sumatriptan-induced harmful effects. Also, N-acetyl cysteine and/or taurine could be used as treatments in sumatriptan-induced side effects.