The nature of short term iron-induced liver damage and its effect on the hepatic damage induced by other toxins have been studied by the use of histochemical techniques. The results suggest that a reduction of effective available sulfhydryl groups is a critical hepatotoxic property of storage iron. A reduction of glucose-6-phosphatase, consistently found in iron-loaded animals, demonstrates the sensitivity of the microsomes to the presence of storage iron. The mitochondria appear to be less sensitive, but may be affected under certain conditions. The results suggest that in order for simultaneously acting liver insults to result in additive damage, the mechanisms by which they act must have a critical and relatively specific relationship.

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