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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1991 Sep 1;110(2):268-74.

In vivo studies on rhodanese encapsulation in mouse carrier erythrocytes.

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Department of Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Texas A&M University, College of Medicine, College Station 77843-1114.


Resealed erythrocytes containing sodium thiosulfate and rhodanese (CRBC) are being employed as a new approach in the antagonism of cyanide intoxication. In earlier in vitro studies, the behavior of red blood cells containing rhodanese and sodium thiosulfate was investigated with regard to their properties and their capability of metabolizing cyanide to thiocyanate. The present studies are concerned with the properties of these rhodanese-containing carrier erythrocytes in the intact animal. These carrier erythrocytes were administered intravenously and the survival of the encapsulated enzyme was compared with the administration (iv) of free exogenous enzyme. Also, the amount of leakage of the encapsulated rhodanese from the red blood cell was determined. The survival of the carrier red blood cell. prepared by hypotonic dialysis, was found to be characterized by a biphasic curve. There was an initial rapid loss of approximately 40 to 50% of the carrier cells with a t1/2 = 2.5 hr. Subsequently the remaining resealed annealed carrier erythrocytes persisted in the vascular system with a t1/2 = 8.5 days. When free exogenous rhodanese was administered directly into the vascular system, it was rapidly eliminated with a t1/2 = 53 min. Red blood cells containing sodium thiosulfate and rhodanese apparently are effective in vivo in the biotransformation of cyanide. In animals pretreated with encapsulated rhodanese and sodium thiosulfate, blood cyanide concentrations are appreciably decreased with a concomitant increase in thiocyanate ion, a metabolite of cyanide. When erythrocytes, which contained no rhodanese or sodium thiosulfate, were subjected to hypotonic dialysis, cyanide was not metabolized to any appreciable extent. Furthermore, carrier erythrocytes containing rhodanese and sodium thiosulfate were found to increase the protection against the lethal effects of cyanide by approximately twofold. The ability of these carrier erythrocytes alone to metabolize cyanide and to antagonize the lethal effects of cyanide reflects the potential of this new antidotal approach in the antagonism of chemical toxicants.

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