Lipidomic profiling reveals protective function of fatty acid oxidation in cocaine-induced hepatotoxicity

Xiaolei Shi, Dan Yao, Blake A. Gosnell, Chi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


During cocaine-induced hepatotoxicity, lipid accumulation occurs prior to necrotic cell death in the liver. However, the exact influences of cocaine on the homeostasis of lipid metabolism remain largely unknown. In this study, the progression of subacute hepatotoxicity, including centrilobular necrosis in the liver and elevation of transaminase activity in serum, was observed in a three-day cocaine treatment, accompanying the disruption of triacylglycerol (TAG) turnover. Serum TAG level increased on day 1 of cocaine treatment but remained unchanged afterwards. In contrast, hepatic TAG level was elevated continuously during three days of cocaine treatment and was better correlated with the development of hepatotoxicity. Lipidomic analyses of serum and liver samples revealed time-dependent separation of the control and cocaine-treated mice in multivariate models, which was due to the accumulation of long-chain acylcarnitines together with the disturbances of many bioactive phospholipid species in the cocaine-treated mice. An in vitro function assay confirmed the progressive inhibition of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation after the cocaine treatment. Cotreatment of fenofibrate significantly increased the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα)-targeted genes and the mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation activity in the cocaine-treated mice, resulting in the inhibition of cocaine-induced acylcarnitine accumulation and other hepatotoxic effects. Overall, the results from this lipidomics-guided study revealed that the inhibition of fatty acid oxidation plays an important role in cocaine-induced liver injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2318-2330
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Lipidomic profiling reveals protective function of fatty acid oxidation in cocaine-induced hepatotoxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this