Journal of analytical toxicology

Uptake and distribution of the abused inhalant 1,1-difluoroethane in the rat.

PMID 20822675


1,1-Difluoroethane (DFE) is a halogenated hydrocarbon used as a propellant in products designed for dusting electronic equipment and air brush painting. When abused, inhaled DFE produces intoxication and loss of muscular coordination. To investigate DFE toxicokinetics, groups (n = 3) of Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 30 s of 20 L/min DFE. The experimental model was designed to mimic exposure during abuse, a protocol which has not been conducted. Tissue collection (blood, brain, heart, liver, and kidney) occurred at 0, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 120, 240, 480, and 900 s. Average peak DFE levels were blood 352, brain 519, heart 338, liver 187, and kidney 364 mg/L or mg/kg. The total percent uptake of the administered dose was 4.0%. Uptake into individual compartments was 2.72, 0.38, 0.15, 0.41, and 0.32% for blood, brain, heart, liver, and kidney, respectively. All animals showed signs of intoxication within 20 s manifested as lethargy, prostration and loss of righting reflex. Marked intoxication continued for about 4 min when DFE averaged 21 mg/L in blood and 17 mg/kg in brain. Between 4 and 8 min, animals continued to show signs of sedation as evidenced by reduced aggression and excitement during handling. No discernable intoxication was evident after 8 min and blood and brain levels had fallen to 10 and 6 mg/L or kg, respectively. Plots of concentration (log) versus time were consistent with a two compartment model. Initial distribution was rapid with average half life (t((1/2))) during the alpha phase of 9 s for blood, 18 s for brain and 27 s in cardiac tissue. During beta slope elimination average t((1/2)) was 86 s in blood, 110 s in brain and 168 s in heart. Late elimination half lives were longer with blood gamma = 240 s, brain gamma = 340 s, and heart gamma = 231 s. Following acute exposure the Vd = 0.06 L, beta = 0.48 min(-1), AUC = 409.8 mg.min L(-1), and CL from blood was 0.03 L min(-1). The calculated toxicokinetic data may underestimate these parameters if DFE is abused chronically due to continued uptake into lowly perfused tissues with repeated dosing.