Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health

Effects of exposure to Freon 11, 1,1,1-trichloroethane or perchloroethylene on the lipid and fatty-acid composition of rat cerebral cortex.

PMID 3387963


Organic solvents are often present as mixtures in various industrial and house-hold products. The adverse effects arising from exposure to these solvents have often been generalized to concern the whole group of solvents. In an examination of the possibility that organic solvents have general effects on experimental animals, rats were continuously exposed to vapors of the halogenated solvents Freon 11, perchloroethylene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. The lipid composition and fatty-acid pattern of ethanolamine phosphoglyceride from the cerebral cortex were analyzed. It was observed that only perchloroethylene had effects on the brain lipid composition. Cholesterol and total phospholipids were slightly reduced. Among the fatty acids the proportion of stearic acid was reduced and those of docosapentanoic, 22:5 (N = 6), and of docosahexanoic, 22:6 (N = 3), acids were increased. The changes in the fatty-acid pattern indicate that an alteration occurs in the desaturation of fatty acids. It seems probable that the chloroethylenes have specific effects on the fatty-acid pattern of brain phospholipids not shared by other solvents.