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Toxicology. 1987 Aug;45(2):193-201.

Neurotoxic effects of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) in the mouse: basis of MMT-induced seizure activity.


Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) is an organic manganese-containing compound which is used as an additive in unleaded gasoline. One neurotoxic effect of MMT in mice is seizure activity. In this study, seizures were observed in mice treated with MMT in propylene glycol or corn oil. The LD50 associated with seizure activity was lower in mice receiving MMT in propylene glycol (152 mg/kg) than in those receiving MMT in corn oil (999 mg/kg). Manganese concentrations in the brains of mice which showed seizure activity due to MMT were higher than in those that did not (2.45 micrograms/g vs. 1.14 micrograms/g for MMT treated in propylene glycol and 3.25 micrograms/g vs. 1.63 micrograms/g for MMT in corn oil). Mice treated with manganese chloride (MnCl2) showed increases in brain manganese comparable to those of the mice showing seizure activity due to MMT, but exhibited no sign of seizure activity. MMT in non-lethal seizure-inducing doses had no effect on the accumulation of 4-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in mouse brain. However, MMT inhibited the binding of t-[3H]t-butylbicycloorthobenzoate [3H]-TBOB (a ligand for the GABA-A-receptor linked chloride channel) in mouse brain membranes with an IC50 value of 22.8 microM. The data suggest that MMT (organic manganese) or a closely related metabolite and not elemental manganese itself is responsible for the seizure activity observed. The seizure activity may be the result of an inhibitory effect of MMT at the GABA-A receptor linked chloride channel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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