In Vivo Metabolism of CCl4

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CCl4 (carbon tetrachloride) is a volatile organic compound that is known to have strong toxicity. It can cause severe renal damage and central nervous system depression. Because of its nonpolarity, it is able to dissolve other nonpolar compounds, such as iodine. Carbon tetrachloride is used in the manufacture of chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. Since the Montreal Protocol, chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants have been phased out. Fortunately, the amount of CCl4 used to produce these refrigerants has decreased and is being replaced by less toxic refrigerants. But carbon tetrachloride is still present in the environment and poses a serious threat to humans and the environment.

In a study, the in vivo metabolism of CCl4 was studied in male rats pretreated with CCl4. Blood CCl4 concentrations were measured by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection head space method. A time-course data set was obtained to refine physiological models. Using this approach, the authors analyzed CCl4 concentrations in the liver, myocardium, kidney, brain, and spleen. The content of CCl4 in the lungs was low, with a concentration of 127.3 mg/kg.

The content of CCl4 in the brain was relatively high, at 216.1 mg/kg. The kidneys had a lower CCl4 concentration, at 150.5 mg/kg. The spleen had a relatively high CCl4 concentration, at 68.3 mg/kg. And the liver had a fairly low concentration, at 58.6 mg/kg.

The removal of CCl4 from the organs was dependent on lipid and tissue blood perfusion. However, the amount of CCl4 that was deposited was greater in the oral bolus group. This resulted in an overestimate of the CCl4 clearance rate.

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