Heinz body production and hematological changes in the hen after administration of a single oral dose of n-butyl mercaptan and n-butyl disulfide.
n-Butyl mercaptan (nBM) is a breakdown product of S,S,S,-tri-n-butyl phosphorotrithioate (DEF) and S,S,S-tri-n-butyl phosphorotrithioite (merphos) in hens and in the environment. n-Butyl disulfide (nBD) is an oxidation product of nBM. A single 500 mg/kg dose of nBM and nBD was administered in gelatin capsules to groups of five 12-month old laying hens. A third group (five hens) was given gelatin capsules. One day after administration, the hens exhibited weakness which progressed to unsteadiness and inability to stand by the third day. These signs were accompanied by a pale comb 18--24 hr after dosing, which changed to dark color at 48 hr. Treated hens improved with time. Heinz bodies and extensive erythrocyte deformation and lysis were observed in blood smears taken from hens 24 and 48 hr after treatment. Hemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume, erythrocytes, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity were significantly lower than controls, while methemoglobin was significantly higher. As the clinical condition of these hens improved, these hematologic changes disappeared. nBM caused an initial increase in plasma butyrylcholinesterase activity which was dose-dependent and returned to normal by the end of the 28-day experiment. Also, brain acetylcholinesterase activity was not different from that of the control at termination.
Abdo, KM; Timmons, PR; Graham, DG; Abou-Donia, MB
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