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Comp Biochem Physiol C. 1991;99(3):309-15.

Alternative sulphur donors for detoxification of cyanide in the chicken.

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  • 1Wye College (University of London), Ashford, Kent, U.K.


1. Urinary excretion of thiocyanate by hens after dosage with cyanide was studied over 3 hr periods during which various sulphur sources were infused. 2. With 20 mumoles cyanide, endogenous sulphur supplies appeared to be almost sufficient. 3. With 45 mumoles cyanide, thiocyanate excretion was doubled with 90 mumoles of sulphur donor. Higher doses of mercaptopyruvate were also effective but not rhodanese substrates (thiosulphate or methanethiosulphonate): they interfered with thiocyanate excretion and may also have suppressed its formation. 4. Mercaptopyruvate and rhodanese substrates also differed in their effects on blood cyanide concentration and on the excretion of isotope from radiolabelled cyanide.

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