Section 42
Chapter 41,108

Protection against toxic effects of formaldehyde in vitro, and of methanol or formaldehyde in vivo, by subsequent administration of SH reagents

Guerri, C.; Godfrey, W.; Grisolia, S.

Physiological Chemistry and Physics 8(6): 543-550


ISSN/ISBN: 0031-9325
PMID: 1029022
Accession: 041107177

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Rapid and progressive inactivation in vitro of both alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase by low concentrations of acetaldehyde or formaldehyde is illustrated. This inactivation can be prevented or reversed by glutathione or other SH reagents. Those effects led to investigations in vivo. Rats and mice were injected with concentrations that would result in death in approximately 10 h (methanol) and approximately 4 h (formaldehyde). When 2,3-dimercaptopropanol (BAL), cysteine, or mercaptoethanol was injected (10 min to 3 h) after administration of methanol or formaldehyde, approximately 70% of the animals survived indefinitely; the remaining 30% showed substantial increase in survival time. The findings indicate the possibility of using reagents such as BAL for human therapy and suggest that the toxicity of methanol and formaldehyde is due in part to effects other than acidosis.

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