Experiments were conducted to examine the effects of changes in lighting schedules and food consumption on circadian rhythms in acetaminophen lethality and hepatic glutathione levels in male mice. Under a normal lighting schedule (light: 06.00–18.00 h), male mice exhibited a circadian rhythm in acetaminophen lethality (peak: 18.00 h; nadir: 06.00, 10.00 h) and an inverse rhythm in hepatic glutathione concentrations (peak: 06.00, 10.00 h; nadir: 18.00 h). Under a reversed lighting schedule (light: 18.00–06.00 h) the glutathione rhythm was reversed and the rhythm in acetaminophen lethality was altered showing greater sensitivity to the drug. Under continuous light, there was a shift in the acetaminophen lethality and the hepatic glutathione rhythms. Under continuous dark, both rhythms were abolished. Under a normal lighting regimen, hepatic glutathione levels were closely correlated with food consumption; i.e., both were increased during the dark phase and decreased during the light phase. Fasting the mice for 12 h abolished the rhythms in acetaminophen lethality and hepatic glutathione levels; moreover, the lethality was increased and the hepatic glutathione levels were decreased. These experiments show that both lighting schedules and feeding can alter the circadian rhythms in acetaminophen lethality and hepatic glutathione levels in male mice.

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