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Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology

Herbicide-induced experimental variegate porphyria in mice: tissue porphyrinogen accumulation and response to porphyrogenic drugs.


PMID 9431441

Abstract

Administration of oxadiazon or oxyfluorfen (1000 ppm in the diet) to male BALB/c mice for 9 days resulted in experimental porphyria, resembling the acute phase of human variegate porphyria. Urinary concentrations of 5-aminolevulinic acid and porphobilinogen reached 1500 and 3000 mumol/L, respectively. Both herbicides caused a decrease of protoporphyrinogen oxidase activity in liver and kidney. Brain protoporphyrinogen oxidase activity was not altered. Liver and kidney porphyrin content increased to 11 and 17 nmol/g, respectively (control mice, 2 nmol/g). Over 50% of liver and kidney porphyrins were in the reduced (porphyrinogen) form. Bile of oxadiazon-treated mice contained 700 nmol/mL of protoporphyrinogen (control mice, 15 nmol/mL). Porphyrin content of the trigeminal nerve increased from 1 nmol/g in control animals to 11 nmol/g in oxadiazon-treated animals, suggesting a possible contribution of peripheral nerve porphyrins to porphyric neuropathy. Mice treated with 125 ppm of oxadiazon in the diet for 9 days excreted moderately elevated levels of porphobilinogen in urine (control mice, less than 50 mumol/L; treated mice, 330 mumol/L). Administration of phenobarbital or phenytoin (single injections on days 7, 8, and 9) increased the urinary porphobilinogen concentration to 3500 mumol/L. This response to porphyrogenic drugs resembles the response observed in human acute porphyrias.

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