Hypertrophic, Hypoactive Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum: A Sensitive Indicator of Hepatotoxicity Exemplified by Dieldrin

Science  06 Sep 1968:
Vol. 161, Issue 3845, pp. 1017-1019
DOI: 10.1126/science.161.3845.1017


Rats with hypertrophic smooth endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and increased activities of the drug-handling enzymes induced by dieldrin were stressed with larger doses of the pesticide. The activity of the drug-handling enzymes was thus reduced, but liver weight, smooth ER, and P-450 hemoprotein remained elevated. While no changes were apparent by light microscopy, the hypertrophic, hypoactive smooth ER was recognized as tight clusters of tubular membranes associated with abnormalities of the mitochondrial membrane. Similar but not identical morphologic changes were noted in human liver diseases associated with hepatic insufficiency. Hypertrophic, hypoactive smooth ER may indicate transition from adaptation of injury, and can be used as a sensitive parameter of toxicity.