The effects of lipoic acid on hexacarbon neurotoxicity in rats were investigated. Rats were exposed by inhalation to n-hexane for 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, up to a total period of 9 weeks. Eight animals were exposed to 700 ppm n-hexane only, and eight animals were exposed to 700 ppm n-hexane and additionally received 100 μmol/kg lipoic acid PO daily. Clinical status of the animals was evaluated by examination of general condition, motor performance tests and neurophysiological measurements of caudal nerve motor conduction velocity. Results showed that animals exposed to 700 ppm n-hexane developed severe motor neuropathy leading to paralysis by the 6th week. Motor distal latencies of these animals were severely prolonged. In contrast, in animals treated with lipoic acid the onset of motor neuropathy was delayed for approximately 3 weeks as could be demonstrated by motor performance tests and measurements of motor distal latencies. © 1990.
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