Archives of toxicology

Inhalation toxicity of diborane in rats assessed by bronchoalveolar lavage examination.

PMID 8750904


Changes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and blood were examined to assess the toxic effects of diborane (B2H6, CAS: 19287-45-7) on the lung. Male Wistar rats were exposed to diborane at 20 ppm (intended concentration) for 4 h (phase I study) to evaluate time-course changes up to 14 days, and at 10 or 1 ppm (intended concentrations) to assess the dose-effect relationship after 3 days (phase II study). BALF parameters [leukocyte counts, alpha 1-antitrypsin (alpha 1-AT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), total protein, phospholipids etc.] were examined and biochemical and histopathological studies were also carried out. In the phase I study, neutrophils (%) in BALF increased on the day of exposure and then decreased gradually for 3 days. Rapid and marked increases in alpha 1-AT and SOD activity in BALF were detected on the day of exposure, and phospholipids had sharply increased on day 3. After 14 days, these parameters in the exposed rats had returned to their background level and alpha 1-AT decreased significantly. In the phase II study, total protein, alpha 1-AT activity and phospholipids in BALF showed dose-dependent increases, and serum alpha 1-AT activity increased significantly. Alveolar capillary and alveolar cell damage were confirmed in rats exposed to 20 ppm, 10 ppm or 1 ppm diborane for 4 h by evaluating the parameters examined. The protection system appeared to start operating immediately after exposure, and the recovery mechanism seemed to start operating 1 day after exposure and cease by day 14. The no-observed-effect level could not be observed.

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