The usefulness of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as a chelating agent was studied for the toxin potassium dichromate, lead tetraacetate, and boric acid. Mature Sprague-Dawley rats were intoxicated with these substances and placed in metabolic cages. Urinary excretion rates of intoxicant and total urine volume were determined during treatment with N-acetylcysteine, calcium EDTA, and/or dimercaptosuccinic acid, N-acetylcysteine proved to be the most effective agent at increasing the excretion of chromium and boron and was also able to reverse the oliguria associated with these toxins. Dimercaptosuccinic acid was most effective at the chelation of lead. NAC did not increase the excretion of lead. We conclude that NAC may be useful in intoxications due to chromate and borate and is effective at reversing the oliguria associated with these intoxicants.
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