Association of dehydromonocrotaline with rat red blood cells

Michael W. Lamé, A. Daniel Jones, Dexter Morin, Dennis W Wilson, H. J. Segall

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16 Scopus citations


The association of radiolabeled monocrotaline pyrrole (DHM) with red blood cell (RBCs) ghosts, globins, and heme was examined to determine their role in the transport and stabilization of this hepatic produced putative toxic metabolite of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid monocrotaline (MCT). Rats were administered 5 mg of DHM/kg, iv, and RBCs and plasma were harvested at 4 and 24 h. Extensive washing of the RBCs with isotonic phosphate buffer did not decrease the amount of radioactivity associated with the cells. The level of DHM equivalents recovered in the RBCs did not decrease between 4 and 24 h, while the plasma levels, which were 29- and 75-fold lower, respectively, decreased from 5.0 to 2.2 nmol of DHM equiv/g of plasma. Globin chains were found to contain 383 and 453 pmol of DHM equiv/mg of protein, respectively. Rats receiving 10 mg of DHM/kg, iv, with RBCs collected at 2 h, had approximately double the level of radioactivity associated with their RBCs in addition to 2 times the amount of adducts on the globin chains. Globins and ghosts plus heme (2 h) contained 69% and 2% of the radioactivity, respectively. Globin chains treated with an acidic ethanol solution containing AgNO3 resulted in the removal of 31% of the associated radioactivity. GC/MS and TLC separation of AgNO3-displaced material revealed the presence of the ethyl ether derivatives of 7-hydroxy-1-(hydroxymethyl)- 6,7-dihydro-5H-pyrrolizine. The HPLC separation of globin chains revealed that the majority of radioactivity coeluted with the β-chains. In conclusion, this study found that the administration of radiolabeled DHM resulted in extensive radioactive labeling of RBCs; similar findings have been reported for [14C]MCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-701
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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