Formaldehyde-induced shrinkage of rat thymocytes.
J Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Jan;91(1):83-6. PMID: 12686735
Laboratory of Cell Signaling, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.
To test the possibility that micromolar formaldehyde, a metabolite of methanol derived from aspartame, exerts cytotoxicity, its effect on rat thymocytes was examined under the in vitro condition using a flow cytometer. Incubation of thymocytes with formaldehyde at 100 micro M or more for 24 h significantly increased the populations of shrunken cells and cells with hypodiploid DNA. The peak blood concentration of methanol in human subjects administered abuse doses of aspartame has been reported to exceed 2 mg/dL (625 micro M). It would increase the population of thymocytes undergoing apoptosis if formaldehyde at 100 micro M or more appears in the blood after administration of aspartame.