Stereological Estimation and Zonal Distribution of the Hepatotoxic Effects of Doxorubicin on the Female Albino Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)




Doxorubicin, Hepatotoxicity, Liver, Stereology, Basic science, Liver disease, Pharmacology, Oncology, Cancer treatment, Animal experiment, Experiment, Albino rat


Background: Doxorubicin is an anti-neoplastic agent widely indicated for a variety of cancers. One of its adverse effects is hepatotoxicity which presents with hepatocyte necrosis, sinusoidal dilation, and fibrosis. However, there remains a dearth in the quantification and zonal distribution of this damage.

Methods: Twenty-three adult female Wister albino rats were placed into baseline, control, and experimental group receiving 2.5mg/kg bodyweight Doxorubicin intra-peritoneally thrice weekly for 3-weeks. Rats were sacrificed on days 0, 7, 14 and 21 and livers harvested for processing. Masson’s Trichrome was used in staining 7 µm thick sections. Images were taken and analyzed via STEPanizer, and data entered into SPSS for analysis.

Results: Rats treated with Doxorubicin had increased liver to body weight ratios from 5.00% at baseline to 6.15%, 6.69% and 7.56% on days 7, 14 and 21 (p=0.090). There was a decrease in hepatocyte densities from 51.88/mm2 to 48.61/mm2, 46.65/mm2 and 42.24/mm2 on day 7, 14 and 21 (p=0.779). Collagen fiber deposition increased from 0.12±0.06 cm3 to 0.47±0.55 cm3, 1.64±0.11 cm3 and 1.88±0.24 cm3 on days 7, 14 and 21 (p=0.009). Deposition was greatest periportally and least pericentrally. Volume of sinusoidal spaces increased from 5.46±0.50 cm3 to 5.49±0.15 cm3, 5.53±0.24 cm3 and 5.50±0.17 cm3 on days 7, 14 and 21 respectively (p=0.827).  Sinusoids were larger pericentrally than periportally.

Conclusion: Doxorubicin administration is associated with an increase in volume density of fibrotic tissue and sinusoidal spaces but decrease in hepatocytes. The quantitative changes presented may facilitate histopathological grading of Doxorubicin-induced hepatotoxicity.


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Collagen Fiber Profile in Rat Livers Following Doxorubicin Administration



How to Cite

Nurani, K., Pulei, A., Olabu, B., Munguti, J., Chaudhry, T., & Kipkorir, V. (2023). Stereological Estimation and Zonal Distribution of the Hepatotoxic Effects of Doxorubicin on the Female Albino Rat (Rattus Norvegicus). International Journal of Medical Students, 11(3), 184–190.

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