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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modulation of glucose metabolism in isolated rat hepatocytes by 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane.

The thermodynamic behavior and lack of ozone-depleting potential of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) suggest it as a likely replacement for dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12), now used as the refrigerant in many air-conditioning systems. To further the presently incomplete toxicological analysis of R-134a, the effects of R-134a on cell viability and functional competence of glucose metabolism were evaluated in suspension cultures of hepatocytes derived from fed or fasted rats. R-134a concentrations up to and including 75% (750,000 ppm) in the gas phase of sealed culture flasks did not produce evidence of cytolethality (LDH leakage) following 2 hr of exposure; in contrast, halothane (1,1,1-trifluoro-2-bromo-2-chloroethane) caused cell death at a gas phase concentration of only 1250 ppm. In hepatocytes isolated from fed rats. R-134a at concentrations of 12.5 to 75% increased glycolysis (production of lactate + pyruvate) in a concentration-dependent manner; no effect was observed at 5%. At 25%, R-12 and 1,1,2,2-tetrafluoro-1,2-dichloroethane (R-114) were of equal potency to R-134a in stimulating glycolysis: 1,1,1,2,2-pentafluoro-2-chloroethane (R-115) depressed glycolysis slightly. Halothane, at concentrations as low as 300 ppm, markedly increased rates of glycolysis. Glucose production by hepatocytes of fed rats was decreased by R-134, R-12, and R-114 only at concentrations of 25% or more. On the other hand, halothane (greater than or equal to 300 ppm) potently decreased glucose production by hepatocytes. In cells isolated from livers of fasted rats, R-134a exposure inhibited gluconeogenesis in a concentration-dependent manner although this effect was not significant until R-134a concentrations reached 12.5%. Comparative potency studies showed that R-134a, R-12, or R-114 (25% gas phase) inhibited gluconeogenesis about equally while as little as 300 ppm halothane was effective and R-115 (25%) was without effect. Considering that the threshold for alteration of the rate of glucose metabolism in this in vitro paradigm is about 12.5% R-134a, we conclude that toxicologically significant alteration of glucose-linked bioenergetics is unlikely at the levels of R-134a exposure anticipated in workplace or environment.[1]


  1. Modulation of glucose metabolism in isolated rat hepatocytes by 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane. Olson, M.J., Reidy, C.A., Johnson, J.T. Fundamental and applied toxicology : official journal of the Society of Toxicology. (1990) [Pubmed]
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