Histopathological effects of cisplatin, doxorubicin and 5-flurouracil (5-FU) on the liver of male albino rats

Hassan I. El-Sayyad, Mohamed F. Ismail, F. M. Shalaby, R. F. Abou-El-Magd, Rajiv L. Gaur, Augusta Fernando, Madhwa H.G. Raj, Allal Ouhtit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Citations (SciVal)


Cisplatin, doxorubicin and fluorouracil (5-FU), drugs belonging to different chemical classes, have been extensively used for chemotherapy of various cancers. Despite extensive investi-gations into their hepatotoxicity, there is very limited information on their effects on the structure and ultra-structure of liver cells in vivo. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, the effects of these three anticancer drugs on rat liver toxicity using both light and electron microscopy. Light microscopic observations revealed that higher doses of cisplatin and doxorubicin caused massive hepatotoxicity compared to 5-FU treatment, including dissolu-tion of hepatic cords, focal inflammation and necrotic tissues. Interestingly, low doses also exhibited abnormal changes, including periportal fibrosis, degeneration of hepatic cords and increased apoptosis. These changes were confirmed at ultrastructural level, including vesiculated rough endoplasmic reticulum and atrophied mitochondria with ill-differentiated cisternae, dense collection of macrophages and lymphocytes as well as fibrocytes with col-lagenous fibrils manifesting early sign of fibrosis, especially in response to cisplatin and doxorubicin -treatment. Our results provide in vivo evidence, at ultrastructural level, of di-rect hepatotoxicity caused by cisplatin, doxorubicin and 5-FU at both light and electron mi-croscopi. These results can guide the design of appropriate treatment regimen to reduce the hepatotoxic effects of these anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • 5-Fu
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cisplatin
  • Doxorubicin
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Rat liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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