Formaldehyde (FA) is a commonly used chemical in everyday life and can react with many molecules in the human body. Although toxicity has been reported, exposure to FA has also been shown to have beneficial effects or no effect at all. In the present study, we examined the effect of FA inhalation on oxidative stress and inflammation in mice. Male adult ICR mice were exposed FA in gaseous form (0.1 ppm), and blood, urine, brain, lung and liver were obtained for 24 hr. Levels of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG) and NO 3- were then determined by HPLC. A second group of mice were injected with 5 mg/kg lipopolysaccharide (LPS) after 24 hr of FA (3 ppm) inhalation and blood and organs were assayed for NO3- level and SOD activity. After exposure to a low dose of FA (0.1 ppm), the 8OHdG/dG ratio significantly increased in plasma. However, the ratio in urine and organs significantly decreased during 24 hr of FA exposure. The NO3- levels mirrored the 8OHdG/dG ratio. After 24 hr exposure to a high dose of FA (3 ppm), NO 3- levels in plasma and liver were significantly lower than in control mice exposed to air only. The SOD activity of blood and urine were conversely increased in FA exposed animals. In the present study, we suggest that inhalation of FA at low doses influences the oxidative stress response in a tissue-specific manner. The FA may partially alleviate in some tissues like preconditioning in oxidative stress.
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