Protein-bound pyrroles in rat hair following subchronic intraperitoneal injections of 2,5-hexanedione.
Studies were initiated to ascertain whether body hair could be used to develop a biological marker for chronic exposure to industrial neurotoxicants that yield the metabolite 2,5-hexanedione (2,5-HD), that is, n-hexane and methyl n-butyl ketone. Rats were injected daily with a 50 mg/kg ip dose of 2,5-HD for 45 d. At intervals, body hair and individual vibrissae were removed (under general anesthesia) and tested for the presence of pyrrole substances with p-N,N-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (DMAB, Ehrlich's reagent). Vibrissae and body hair were stained a reddish color that was distinctly different from that observed with the hair taken from control animals. Solubilized body hair protein from the treated animals gave a positive Ehrlich's test, while that from control animals was negative. Spectral analysis of the DMAB-treated hair from experimental animals disclosed a maximum absorbance at 530 nm, which indicated the presence of pyrrole substituents. Serial analysis of individual nose hairs taken during 2,5-HD administration showed a progression with time of the region staining positively for pyrroles, thus indicating that the process can proceed in growing hair. These findings suggest the potential utility of hair as an indicator for chronic exposure to this class of industrial chemicals possessing neurotoxicity potential. This could complement urinary analysis, which is now used to confirm recent exposure.
Johnson, DJ; Lack, L; Ibrahim, S; Abdel-Rahman, SM; Abou-Donia, MB
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