Blood pressure of rats lowered by sulfur dioxide and its derivatives

Ziqiang Meng, Hong Geng, Juli Bai, Guanghai Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


This study was designed to investigate effects of sulfur dioxide (SO 2) and its derivatives (bisulfite and sulfite) on the rat blood pressure. The blood pressures of male Wistar rats exposed to SO2 and its derivatives at various doses were measured. Findings were that: (1) with acute-one time exposure to SO2 for 6 h, the rat blood pressures were lowered in contrast to their controls and their background levels in a dose-dependent manner. (2) There were both a dose-response relationship and a time-response relationship between subchronic SO2 exposure and the rat blood pressure. For SO2 exposure at 10 ppm, first the blood pressures decreased significantly with exposure days in contrast to their controls and their background levels, and then these decreases became not significant, suggesting an adaption mechanism might be induced. However, SO 2 exposures at 40 ppm caused significant decreases of the blood pressures during the whole experiment, and no adaptation process was found. (3) SO2 derivatives (bisulfite and sulfite) also caused the decreases of rat blood pressures in a dose-dependent manner. There are two conclusions: (1) Short-time, even acute one-time, exposure to SO2 of its derivatives may cause a decrease of blood pressure of the animals in both dose-dependent and time-dependent manners. (2) SO2 is a systemic toxic agent, not only to the respiratory system. SO2 can cause at least functional damage to the cardiovascular system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-959
Number of pages9
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


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