Letter | Published:

Protection by Antioxidants against Lethal Doses of Carbon Tetrachloride

Nature volume 192, pages 881882 (02 December 1961) | Download Citation



Rees, Spector and Sinha1 have shown that ‘Phenergan’, 10-(2-dimethylamino-isopropyl) phenothiazine hydrochloride, protects against necrosis of liver cells in rats dosed with carbon tetrachloride. Afterwards, Gallagher and Rees2 found that ‘Phenergan’ maintained normal concentrations of oxidized pyridine nucleotides in the liver despite the administration of carbon tetrachloride. These findings, together with those of McLean3,4 and Gallagher, Gupta, Judah and Rees5 that ‘Phenergan’ protects rats against liver necrosis due either to vitamin E deficiency or to administration of thioacetamide, suggested that ‘Phenergan’ operates on a general metabolic mechanism involved in the maintenance of cellular and mitochondrial integrity. The value of ‘Phenergan’ as an alternative to vitamin E indicated that its action might be associated with antioxidant properties. Therefore, the antioxidants6,7 α-tocopherol, sodium selenite and NN1-diphenyl-p-phenylenediamine were investigated as possible protective agents in carbon tetrachloride poisoning.

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  1. Division of Animal Health, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, McMaster Laboratory, New South Wales.



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