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Cardiovascular, metabolic and neurologic effects of carbon monoxide and cyanide in the rat.

  • Dodds, R G1
  • Penney, D G
  • Sutariya, B B
  • 1 Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201.
Published Article
Toxicology Letters
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1992
PMID: 1641871


Levine-prepared, female Sprague-Dawley rats were used to investigate the effects of carbon monoxide (CO) and cyanide (CN) on heart rate, blood pressure, hematocrit, body temperature, blood glucose, lactate, and neurologic function. Rats were exposed to either 2400 ppm CO, 1500 ppm CO, 4 mg/kg NaCN, or both 1500 ppm CO and 4 mg/kg NaCN for 90 min, followed by 4 h of room air recovery. Following exposure to 2400 ppm CO, rats exhibited a significant bradycardia which normalized by 2 h of recovery. All groups exhibited an initial hypotension which was either maintained or exaggerated during exposure in all but the rats exposed to CN, and which returned to pre-exposure values by 90 min. All groups experienced a significant hypothermia during the exposure period, with those in the 1500 ppm CO or the CN returning to initial values over the recovery period. The only significant change in hematocrit was due to 2400 ppm CO (4.1% increase). During exposure, all groups experienced an initial surge in glucose concentration which was maintained in all but rats exposed to 2400 ppm CO. The greatest hyperglycemic response resulted from the combination of CO and CN, whereas 2400 ppm CO produced the smallest. CN alone produced no significant rise in lactate concentration. However, lactate concentration in all other groups was significantly elevated during the exposure period, returning to initial values by 4 h of recovery. Lactate concentrations and neurologic deficit in rats exposed to 1500 ppm CO, when added to those rats treated with CN, closely approximated the lactate and neurologic deficit of the combination treatment. Neurologic deficit was greatest in rats exposed to 2400 ppm CO. While in most cases the responses of the rats to CO and CN differed whether the substances were administered alone or in combination, a synergistic relationship is not suggested. An additive or less than additive relationship is more likely.

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