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Toxic Effect Of Paraquat On The Lungs

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Toxic Effect Of Paraquat On The Lungs Question: Discuss about the Toxic Effect Of Paraquat On The Lungs.     Answer: Introduction Paraquat, which is generally known as its systematic name 1′-dimethyl-4, 4’-bipyridinium Dichloride is a quaternary nitrogen compound. It is generally present as the salt, which is odorless and colorless. It is used as herbicide, and is one of the most toxic herbicide used over the last 50 years. This herbicide is banned or disallowed in more than 32 countries due to its adverse effects on humans as well as animals. This herbicide possesses redox activity that produces superoxide anions, which is harmful for the health of humans (Blanco-Ayala, Andérica-Romero & Pedraza-Chaverri, 2014). Paraquat is an oxidant that creates superoxide molecules in the presence of oxygen. These superoxide molecules are harmful for mammals, as these molecules scavenges the immune cells present in the blood stream. Further, the metabolic and skin related disorders resulting from ingestion of paraquat also leads to several health complications. These complications results in the death of the victim. This assignment is will focus on the toxic ability of Paraquat and will explain the way Paraquat can enhance toxicity with the help of reactive oxygen and metabolism. Further, the clinical signs and symptoms paraquat poisoning are going to be explained. Finally, the mechanism, by which lungs become infected of paraquat are going to be discussed. Mechanism Of Paraquat Toxicity After ingestion, paraquat becomes highly toxic to humans and animals and causes Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). It is the toxicant where inhalation for lung infection is not mandatory and consumption of this substance leads acute lung infection. This Toxicant has been listed in the toxicity category one, which is highest among the four toxic categories. The salt form of paraquat, which is used for the agriculture purpose are greater than inhaled capacity of human. However, the oral and dermal route can also cause acute respiratory complications such as Irritation in respiratory airway, Fibrosis, silicosis and allergic responses (Stine & Brown, 2015). The prime mechanism of Paraquat poisoning is the generation of Reactive oxygen species or superoxide. It is an oxidant and generally interferes with the electron transfer. In this pathway, it creates reactive oxygen that is harmful fir humans as well as animals. This generation of superoxide occurs in cycle and the shunt of electrons from the electron transport cycle provides the oxygen to modify. This redox cycle of paraquat utilizes electron donor NADPH, become oxidized by an electron receptor Dioxygen and creates superoxide. As the alveolar epithelial cells constantly accumulates paraquat, it leads to the death due to development of fibrous tissue in the lungs (He et al., 2012). Oral ingestion paraquat is also harmful for the human health. Moderate dose of paraquat can lead to renal and hepatic dysfunctions. Mucosal damage occurs and within 10 days radiological signs of lung damage developed. However, high dose causes death within 24 to 48 hours due to multiple organ failure.   Signs And Symptoms Of Paraquat Poisoning After the accidental ingestion of a large amount of paraquat through oral or nasal route, immediate pain and swelling occurs in the mouth and throat occurs. The next symptoms occur in the gastrointestinal tract as symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain occurs. Bloody diarrhea is one of the major symptoms of this situation. Further, electrolyte depletion from the body occurs that leads to dehydration and eventually low blood pressure occurs. Medium amount of paraquat results in the development of lung scarring, kidney failure, heart failure and liver complications. If the Person survives, the toxic effect of this toxic, long-term effect may include lung scarring, esophageal scarring (scarring of the tube that harms the swallowing capacity of the person). Ingestion of large amount of Paraquat leads to respiratory failure, pulmonary edema, coma, Parkinson’s disease, muscle weakness and acute kidney failure. The prime target of Paraquat infection is the lung, as small amount of paraquat inhaled can lead to lung scarring immediately. Other than accumulation in the lungs, the paraquat has higher tendency to be accumulated in the cornea of the eyes, liver, heart, kidney, digestive tract and adrenal glands that leads to health complications. Effect of paraquat on skin is also harmful and direct contact with it can cause damage to fingernails, dermatitis, burns and irritation (Chen et al., 2016). Reason For Lung Being The Prime Target It is evident that the despite there are different route for paraquat ingestion, such as inhalation, oral and skin, the lung is the prime target for this toxicant. Alveolar cells are the target of paraquat because they are able to take up the paraquat present in the blood stream and hence develops edema. This edema can be because of the increased vascular permeability. Further, it causes increase in the surface tension of the alveolar capillaries and produce edema (Toygar et al., 2015). Further, in the presence of paraquat in the lung, the lining of the walls start being damaged and hence, scarring of the lung occurs. The reason behind it can be the presence of oxygen. Paraquat is an oxidant and in the presence of oxygen, creates the superoxide molecule, which scavenges the immune cells present in the blood stream. Hence, lung is the ideal place for such oxidant to accumulate and create superoxide molecules to harm the host. Therefore, despite of several route for the ingestion, lung is the prime target for this toxicant (Xu, Xu & Wang, 2014). Conclusion In spite of the harmful effects of this herbicide, there are several countries where usage of paraquat is still available and therefore, farmers are facing different problems related to it. Heart problems, Parkinson’s disease, liver, lung disorders are affecting their lives. This molecule has redox activity. This redox nature, in the presence of superoxide degrades the immune system of the victim and leads to respiratory failure, heart and lung problems. This document provided all the signs and symptoms of paraquat related disorders and identifies the reason for the lungs being primary target of this toxin.   References Blanco-Ayala, T., Andérica-Romero, A. C., & Pedraza-Chaverri, J. (2014). New insights into antioxidant strategies against paraquat toxicity. Free radical research, 48(6), 623-640. Chen, T., Wang, R., Jiang, W., Wang, H., Xu, A., Lu, G., … & Ji, H. (2016). Protective effect of astragaloside IV against paraquat-induced lung injury in mice by suppressing Rho signaling. Inflammation, 39(1), 483-492. He, X., Wang, L., Szklarz, G., Bi, Y., & Ma, Q. (2012). Resveratrol inhibits paraquat-induced oxidative stress and fibrogenic response by activating the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 pathway. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 342(1), 81-90. Stine, K. E., & Brown, T. M. (2015). Principles of toxicology. Crc Press. Toygar, M., Aydin, I., Agilli, M., Aydin, F. N., Oztosun, M., Gul, H., … & Honca, M. (2015). The relation between oxidative stress, inflammation, and neopterin in the paraquat-induced lung toxicity. Human & experimental toxicology, 34(2), 198-204. Xu, L., Xu, J., & Wang, Z. (2014). Molecular mechanisms of paraquat-induced acute lung injury: a current review. Drug and chemical toxicology, 37(2), 130-134.

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