Biologia, Bratislava, 55/Suppl. 8: 33-38, 2000.

ISSN 0006-3088 (Biologia). ISSN 1335-6399 (Biologia. Section Cellular and Molecular Biology).


Full Paper

Changes in organ distribution of cadmium, lead and manganese caused by cyanide in mice.


Vladislav Eybl1*, Dana Kotyzova1, Vera Mickova1, Jaroslav Koutensky1, Joseph L. Borowitz2 & Garry E. Isom2

1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Charles University Faculty of Medicine in Plzen, Karlovarska 48, CZ-30166 Plzen, Czech Republic; e-mail:

2 Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN-47907-1333, USA

* corresponding author

Received: July 10, 2000 / Accepted: October 24, 2000



Both cyanide and selected metals, cadmium, lead and manganese, are common environmental contaminants. There is scarce of information concerning the interaction of metals with cyanide regarding their toxicity and toxicokinetics. In the experiments male mice (CD-1) were treated with CdCl2.2H2O, 35 mmol/kg sc; Pb(CH3COO)2.3H2O, 80 mmol/kg sc or MnCl2.4H2O, 170 mmol /kg sc in a single or repeated daily administration (for 6 days). Metal salts were administered either alone or 1 hr before the administration of NaCN, 4 mg/kg sc (82 mmol/kg). Mice were sacrificed 24 hours after the last dose and liver, kidneys and brain were removed for metal analysis by AAS. In the acute experiment the differences in metal tissue concentrations between the groups treated with metal salts alone and metal salts in combination with cyanide were negligible. The repeated administration of metals with cyanide significantly enhanced the concentration of Cd and Pb in the liver and kidneys compared to the tissues of animals treated with metals alone. In the brain the concentration of Cd and Pb remained unaffected by NaCN treatment. However, elevated concentration of Mn in the brain after manganese exposure only was significantly lowered due cyanide co-administration. The level of the essential elements iron, copper and zinc, assumed to be bound to cyanide, was influenced neither by single nor repeated administration of cyanide. Cyanide increases the retention of the metals studied in the organs probably by forming metal complexes and thus changing the toxicokinetics of metals and/or by direct impairment of metal ion handling (cellular uptake/extrusion).


Key words: cyanide, metal toxicokinetics, cadmium, lead, manganese, trace elements.