Biochemical and cytologic alterations in the ...

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Title Biochemical and cytologic alterations in the respiratory tract of rats exposed for 4 hours to hydrogen sulfide
Author(s) Alphonso Lopez, M. Prior, S. Yong, M. Albassam, L. E. Lillie
Journal Fundamental and Applied Toxicology
Date 1987
Volume 9
Issue 4
Start page 753
End page 762
Abstract Fischer-344 rats were killed by exsanguination 1, 20, and 44 hr after a single 4-hr exposure to an atmosphere of 0, 10, 200, and 400 ppm of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Alterations in the activities of lactate dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase, and cytomorphology of epithelial cells in fluids obtained by nasal and broncho alveolar lavage were used as indicators of cell injury. Changes in the number of leukocytes were used as indicators of inflammatory response, and changes in the concentration of protein were used as indicators of altered vascular permeability. Inhalation of H2S resulted in 139, 483, and 817% increased cellularity in the nasal cavity of rats exposed to 10, 200, and 400 ppm, respectively. This was due to marked exfoliation of degenerated epithelial cells and exudation of neutrophils. The high dose of H2S resulted to baseline levels 20 hr later. Bronchoalveolar cell counts were decreased in rats exposed to 400 ppm and unchanged in those exposed to 10 and 200 ppm. Enzymatic activities in lung lavage fluid were moderately elevated (up to 90%), yet protein concentrations were increased by more than 3000% and remained significantly elevated up to 44 hr after exposure to 400 ppm. It was concluded that inhalation of H2S has a severe cytotoxic effect on the nasal epithelium and a severe edematogenic effect on lung parenchyma. These results are in agreement with autopsy findings of individuals killed by accidental exposure to H2S-containing sour gas.

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