2005 Volume 30 Issue 4 Pages 315-328
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is an important enzyme that oxidizes acetaldehyde. Approximately 45% of Chinese and Japanese individuals are inactive ALDH2 phenotype; acute acetaldehyde toxicity has not been evaluated in these populations. We compared the acute acetaldehyde toxicity between wild-type (Aldh2+/+) and Aldh2-inactive transgenic (Aldh2-/-) mice who were administered an intraperitoneal (ip) injection of a single dose of acetaldehyde. This comparison was made based on the LD50 values of acetaldehyde and the symptoms following the ip injection. Blood acetaldehyde level was measured in the 400 mg/kg dose group. Immediately after administration of acetaldehyde, the mice exhibited hypoactivity and staggering gait. Subsequently, symptoms such as pale skin, prone position, coma, and abnormal deep respiration were observed. In cases of death, dyspnea, wheezing, and hypothermia were observed from 15 to 30 min after the administration. In cases of survival, crouching, bradypnea, flushing and piloerection were observed. Significant latency of symptom recovery was found in the Aldh2+/- mice as compared with the Aldh2+/+ mice; however, no statistical difference was observed in the acetaldehyde LD50 values. This might be attributable to the absence of a significant difference in the blood acetaldehyde concentrations in both mice during the first 0−15 min following administration; however, acetaldehyde elimination delay was observed in the Aldh2-/- mice as compared with the Aldh2+/+ mice. Acetaldehyde toxicity difference was observed between the Aldh2+/+ and Aldh2-/- mice; however, no difference in acetaldehyde lethality was observed by administration of a single dose of an ip acetaldehyde injection.