The influence of ampicillin and chloramphenicol administered intraperitoneallysingly or in combination on the protein content and the activities of hepaticsterase and amidase have been investigated in rats. The results have beencompared to the effects of phenobarbitone (inducer) andp-nitrophenyl-phosphate (inhibitor) of hepatic hydrolases.

Ampicillin pretreatment reduced protein level and amidase activity by3.5% each but caused a significant increase (8.1%) in total esteraseactivity compared to controls. Chloramphenicol treatment caused an overalldecrease in protein level, esterase and amidase activities respectively by11%, 11%, and 35% over controls.

Combined administration of both drugs resulted in a decrease in protein,esterase and amidase activities by 11.5%, 12.5%, and 41.2% respectively,thus mimicking the effects obtained with chloramphenicol alone.

The changes induced by administration of the drugs particularly incombination on the constituent enzymes of rat hepatic hydrolases may affectthe ability of the body to deal with exposure to environmental chemicals ifextrapolated to man.

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