Biodegradation of α-hexachlorocyclohexane

IV. The extent of degradation of single doses in vivo
  • G. Noack
  • J. Portig
  • M. Wirsching


  1. 1.

    Urine and stools were collected daily of 4 adult rats kept in single cages and injected once i.p. with α-hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH; dose per animal 126–150 μmoles), labelled uniformly with 14-C (10.8–14.0×106 dpm per animal).

  2. 2.

    In 4 weeks, 65% of the label was excreted through the kidneys and 16% by way of the intestine, with an estimated 8% being retained in depot fat.

  3. 3.

    GLC-analysis of the pooled urine showed it to contain very little unchanged drug, on average 0.05% of the dose. The time-course of the renal excretion of 14-C-labelled substance corresponded rather closely to the excretion of organically bound 36-Cl seen in earlier experiments with 36-Cl-labelled drug, indicating that the majority of urinary metabolites, presumably, still bear chlorine.

  4. 4.

    All or nearly all of the faecal 14-C was found by GLC to be accounted for by the stool's content of unchanged α-HCH.

  5. 5.

    Taken together, the results indicate a mean extent of α-HCH-degradation in the rat in the order of 80–85% of a dose.

  6. 6.

    Two rats were given 400 mg/kg of “cold” α-HCH by mouth 4 days before i.p. application of 14-C-labelled drug and were found to excrete more label through the kidneys in the first week than did the non-pretreated rats. This indicates that the drug stimulates its own degradation.


Key words

α-Hexachlorocyclohexane Biodegradation Renal Excretion Intestinal Excretion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Noack
    • 1
  • J. Portig
    • 1
  • M. Wirsching
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Toxikologie und Pharmackologie der Philipps-Universität MarburgMarburg/LahnFederal Republic of Germany

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