Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Raymond Harbison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Giffe Johnson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marie Bourgeois, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nick Hall, Ph.D.


PARP, Heptotoxicity, Cocaine, Acetaminophen


Drug toxicity may cause liver injury, resulting in damage to cells and tissues. This damage can lead to cytotoxic events that may result in an activation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). A study was conducted to determine if cocaine and acetaminophen toxicity lead to DNA damage and to the activation of the repair protein, PARP in the liver using the hepatotoxicants: cocaine and acetaminophen (APAP).

A dose-response analysis for cocaine concluded that a dose as low as 20 mg/kg resulted in elevated ALT levels. A higher dose of 60 mg/kg was tested for analyses but resulted in severe hemorrhaging. The dose-response analyses for APAP resulted in no elevated liver enzyme levels for a 75 mg/kg and 150 mg/kg dose. A dose of 50 mg/kg for cocaine, and a dose of 300 mg/kg for APAP were used to analyze temporal trends for both toxicants. Both cocaine and APAP produced incremental increases in ALT at the 2 hour, 6 hour, 18 hour, and 24 hour time points, respectively. PARP activity analysis for cocaine measured the highest activity at the 2hr and 6hr time points. PARP analysis for acetaminophen measured gradual increases until the 18 hour time point where the highest level of PARP activity was measured.

A PARP inhibition analysis was conducted with cocaine and (APAP) to understand the impact of a PARP inhibitor, 1,5-dihydroxyisoquinoline (DIQ), on PARP activity in the liver. A 50 mg/kg dose of cocaine or a 300 mg/kg dose of APAP was administered, followed by a 10 mg/kg dose of DIQ at 1) the time of initial toxicant dose (0 hour), or 2) 1 hour after initial toxicant dose (1hr). The PARP inhibition analysis for cocaine and APAP was conducted at 6 and 18 hours post initial dose, respectively, when the highest levels of PARP were observed. Inhibition analyses determined that ALT declined significantly when DIQ was administered immediately following the initial toxicant dose for both toxicants. DIQ administered 1 hr after initial toxicant dose resulted in slightly higher ALT than the 0 hr time point. Decreases in PARP activity were observed at the 0 hr time point, with slightly higher PARP levels observed at the 1 hr time point. Decreased PARP activity was observed following DIQ treatment with both, a concurrent drug treatment and treatment following drug administration. Cocaine and APAP treatment did not cause DNA fragmentation. A liver glutathione (GSH) analysis conducted for cocaine and APAP did not correlate with DIQ alteration of PARP activity. The mechanism of DIQ effects on drug-induced hepatotoxicity appears to be GSH independent. DIQ was effective in reducing drug-induced hepatotoxicity and preserving organ function.

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Toxicology Commons