The reaction of cyanide (CN−) with cystine to produce 2-aminothiazoline-4-carboxylic acid (ATCA) is one of the independent detoxification pathways of cyanide in biological systems. In this report, in vivo production of ATCA and its distributions in plasma and organs were studied after a subcutaneous sublethal dose of 4 mg/kg body weight potassium cyanide (KCN) administration to rats. At this sublethal dose of KCN, ATCA concentration was not significantly increased in the plasma samples, however, it was found significantly increased in liver samples. These results suggested that ATCA might not be a good diagnostic biomarker in plasma for sublethal cyanide exposure; however, liver could serve as the right organ for the detection of ATCA in post-mortem examinations involving cyanide exposure in military, firefighting, industrial and forensic settings.
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