Respiratory toxicity of dimethyl sulfoxide

Kotaro Takeda, Mieczyslaw Pokorski, Yutaka Sato, Yoshitaka Oyamada, Yasumasa Okada

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Citations (Scopus)


Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is one of the most commonly used solvents for hydrophobic substances in biological experiments. In addition, the compound exhibits a plethora of bioactivities, which makes it of potential pharmacological use of its own. The influence on respiration, and thus on arterial blood oxygenation, of DMSO is unclear, contentious, and an area of limited study. Thus, in the present investigation we set out to determine the influence on lung ventilation of cumulated doses of DMSO in the amount of 0.5, 1.5, 3.5, 7.5, and 15.5 g/kg; each dose given intraperitoneally at 1 h interval in conscious mice. Ventilation and its responses to 7% hypoxia (N2 balanced) were recorded in a whole body plethsymograph. We demonstrate a dose-dependent inhibitory effect of DMSO on lung ventilation and its hypoxic responsiveness, driven mostly by changes in the tidal component. The maximum safe dose of DMSO devoid of meaningful consequences for respiratory function was 3.5 g/kg. The dose of 7.5 g/kg of DMSO significantly dampened respiration, with yet well preserved hyperventilatory response to hypoxia. The highest dose of 15.5 g/kg severely impaired ventilation and its responses. The study delineates the safety profile of DMSO regarding the respiratory function which is essential for maintaining proper tissue oxygenation. Caution should be exercised concerning dose concentration of DMSO.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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