Toxicology letters

Hemolytic drugs aniline and dapsone induce iron release in erythrocytes and increase the free iron pool in spleen and liver.

PMID 10593595


Incubation of rat erythrocytes with the hydroxylated metabolites of aniline and dapsone (4-4'-diaminodiphenylsulfone), phenylhydroxylamine and dapsone hydroxylamine, respectively, induced marked release of iron and methemoglobin formation. On the contrary, no release of iron nor methemoglobin formation was seen when the erythrocytes were incubated with the parent compounds (aniline and dapsone). The acute intoxication of rats with aniline or dapsone induced a marked increase in the erythrocyte content of free iron and methemoglobin, indicating that the xenobiotics are effective only after biotransformation to toxic metabolites in vivo. Prolonged administration of aniline or dapsone to rats produced continuous release of iron from erythrocytes. Marked iron overload was seen in the spleen and in the liver Kupffer cells, as detected histochemically. The spleen weight in these subchronically treated animals was significantly increased. The free iron pool was markedly increased in the spleen and to a lower extent in the liver. The possible relationships between iron release in erythrocytes, oxidative damage seen in senescent cells, hemolysis, overwhelmed capacity of spleen and liver to keep iron in storage forms and subsequent increase in low molecular weight, catalitically active iron is discussed.