In vitro and in vivo effects of methyl isocyanate on rat brain mitochondrial respiration

  • K. Jeevaratnam
  • S. Vidya


The present study deals with the in vitro and in vivo effects of methyl isocyanate (MIC) on rat brain mitochondrial function. Addition of MIC to tightly coupled brain mitochondria in vitro resulted in a mild stimulation of state 4 respiration, abolition of respiratory control, decrease in ADP/O ratio, and inhibition of state 3 oxidation. The oxidation of NAD+-linked substrates (glutamate + malate) was more sensitive (fourfold) to the inhibitory action of MIC than succinate while cytochrome oxidase was unaffected. Administration of MIC subcutaneously at a lethal dose affected respiration only with glutamate + malate as the substrate (site I) and caused a 20% decrease in state 3 oxidation leading to a significant decrease in respiratory control index while state 4 respiration and ADP/O ratio remained unaffected. As both the malondialdehyde and iron contents of brain mitochondria were not altered, it may be inferred that the observed in vivo inhibition of state 3 oxidation is induced by MIC through systemic stagnant hypoxia leading to ischemia of brain, which further contributes to the cerebral hypoxia.


Glutamate Respiration Succinate Malondialdehyde Isocyanate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Jeevaratnam
    • 1
  • S. Vidya
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Pharmacology and ToxicologyDefence Research and Development EstablishmentGwaliorIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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