The distribution and inducibility of cytosolic glutathione S-transferase (EC and glutathione peroxidase (EC activities in rat liver parenchymal, Kupffer and endothelial cells were studied. In untreated rats glutathione S-transferase activity with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and 4-hydroxynon-2-trans-enal as substrates was 1.7-2.2-fold higher in parenchymal cells than in Kupffer and endothelial cells, whereas total, selenium-dependent and non-selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase activities were similar in all three cell types. Glutathione S-transferase isoenzymes in parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells isolated from untreated rats were separated by chromatofocusing in an f.p.l.c. system: all glutathione S-transferase isoenzymes observed in the sinusoidal lining cells were also detected in the parenchymal cells, whereas Kupffer and endothelial cells lacked several glutathione S-transferase isoenzymes present in parenchymal cells. At 5 days after administration of Arocolor 1254 glutathione S-transferase activity was only enhanced in parenchymal cells; furthermore, selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase activity decreased in parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells. At 13 days after a single injection of Aroclor 1254 a strong induction of glutathione S-transferase had taken place in all three cell types, whereas selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase activity remained unchanged (endothelial cells) or was depressed (parenchymal and Kupffer cells). Hence these results clearly establish that glutathione S-transferase and glutathione peroxidase are differentially regulated in rat liver parenchymal as well as non-parenchymal cells. The presence of glutathione peroxidase and several glutathione S-transferase isoenzymes capable of detoxifying a variety of compounds in Kupffer and endothelial cells might be crucial to protect the liver from damage by potentially hepatotoxic substances.

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