Protective effects of fomepizole on 2-chloroethanol toxicity.

Research paper by Yng-Tay YT Chen, Jiunn-Wang JW Liao, Dong-Zong DZ Hung

Indexed on: 09 Jan '10Published on: 09 Jan '10Published in: Human & experimental toxicology


2-Chloroethanol (2-CE) is a widely used industrial solvent. In Taiwan, Taiwanese farmers apply 2-CE on grape-vines to accelerate grape growth, a practice that in some cases have caused poisoning in humans. Thus, there is strong interest in identifying antidotes to 2-CE. This study examines the protective role in 2-CE intoxicated rats. Alcohol dehydrogenase and glutathione were hypothesized to be important in the metabolism of 2-CE. This study used fomepizole, an alcohol dehydrogenase inhibitor, and chemicals that affected glutathione metabolism to study 2-CE toxicity. Notably, fomepizole 5 mg/kg significantly increased median lethal dose (LD(50)) of 2-CE from 65.1 to 180 mg/kg and reduced the production of a potential toxic metabolite chloroacetaldehyde (CAA) in animal plasma. In contrast, disulfiram (DSF), an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor, increased the toxicity of 2-CE on the lethality in rats. Additional or pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and fomepizole significantly reduced plasma CAA concentrations. Fomepizole also significantly reduced 2-CEinhibited glutathione activity. Otherwise, pretreatment with NAC for 4 days followed by co-treatment with fomepizole significantly decreased formation of the metabolic CAA. These results indicated that its catalytic enzyme might play a vital role during 2-CE intoxication, and the combination of fomepizole and NAC could be a protective role in cases of acute 2-CE intoxication.