A mixture of chloromethylisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone impairs rat vascular smooth muscle by depleting thiols and thereby elevating cytosolic Zn2+ and generating reactive oxygen species

Van Quan Do, Yoon Seok Seo, Jung Min Park, Jieun Yu, Men Thi Hoai Duong, Junichi Nakai, Sang Kyum Kim, Hee Chul Ahn, Moo Yeol Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Chloromethylisothiazolinone (CMIT) and methylisothiazolinone (MIT) are biocidal preservatives and the active ingredients in Kathon CG, which contains ca. 1.5% mixture of CMIT and MIT at a ratio of 3:1 (CMIT/MIT). CMIT/MIT was misused as humidifier disinfectant products, which caused serious health problems in Korea. Here, the vascular effects of CMIT/MIT were investigated to evaluate claims of putative cardiovascular toxicity observed in humidifier disinfectant users. CMIT/MIT did not affect the basal tension of the rat thoracic aorta up to 2.5 μg/mL in myograph experiments. Instead, pretreatment with CMIT/MIT impaired phenylephrine- or 5-hydroxytryptamine-induced vasoconstriction in a range of 0.5–2.5 μg/mL, which was largely irreversible and not recovered by washing out the CMIT/MIT. Similarly, the application of CMIT/MIT to pre-contracted aorta caused a gradual loss of tension. In primary cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), CMIT/MIT caused thiol depletion, which in turn led to cytosolic Zn2+ elevation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. CMIT/MIT-induced shrinkage, detachment, and lysis of VSMCs depending on the concentration and the treatment time. All events induced by CMIT/MIT were prevented by a thiol donor N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Cytolysis could be inhibited by a Zn2+ chelator TPEN and a superoxide scavenger TEMPOL, whereas they did not affect shrinkage and detachment. In accordance with these results, CMIT/MIT-exposed aortas exhibited dissociation and collapse of tissue in histology analysis. Taken together, CMIT/MIT causes functional impairment and tissue damage to blood vessels by depleting thiol and thereby elevating cytosolic Zn2+ and generating ROS. Therefore, exposure to CMIT/MIT in consumer products may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Toxicology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Chloromethylisothiazolinone (CMIT)
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Humidifier disinfectant
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)
  • Vascular toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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