Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A

Evaluation of the pharmacokinetic interactions between orally administered trihalomethanes in the rat.

PMID 10912587


The blood kinetics of trihalomethanes has recently been reported to differ between an oral administration of any single trihalomethane (0.25 mmol/kg) [THMs: chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane (BDCM), dibromochloromethane (DBCM)] and a combined administration of 0.25 mmol/kg of each of the 4 THMs. The significant increase in blood concentrations of THMs could be a consequence of pharmacokinetic interactions between two or more of the THMs present simultaneously. The objective of the present study was to characterize the blood kinetics of THMs following oral administration singly or as binary mixtures in order to assess the relative contribution of each THM to the kinetic interferences observed with the quaternary mixture. A single dose of each THM (0.5 mmol/kg) alone or of a binary mixture containing 0.5 mmol/kg of each THM was administered by gavage to male Sprague-Dawley rats. The venous blood concentrations of unchanged THMs were measured for up to 720 min postadministration by headspace gas chromatography. Results showed that, compared to single administration, each binary mixture caused a significant increase in the blood concentrations of both THMs present and this effect increased with time. The impact, however, was not similar for each mixture, especially during the first hour following administration of the compounds (bromoform and DBCM). Among the four THMs, bromoform and DBCM kinetics appeared to be more sensitive to the mixture effect and to exert the greatest impact on the kinetics of the second THM present in the mixture. Simulation exercises conducted with physiologically based toxicokinetic models suggest metabolic inhibition as the possible mechanism of the interaction between THMs. In conclusion, the results of this study show that, at the dose level investigated, every binary combination of THMs, when orally administered, resulted in a significant modulation of their pharmacokinetics and suggest that this is probably the consequence of a mutual metabolic inhibition between the THMs.