Disposition of citral in male Fischer rats.

Diliberto JJUsha GBirnbaum LS
Drug Metabolism and Disposition: the Biological Fate of Chemicals, 1988


The disposition of citral, an essential oil occurring in many foods and fragrances, was studied in male Fischer rats after iv, po, and dermal treatments. The pattern of distribution and elimination was the same after iv or oral exposure. Urine was the major route of elimination of citral-derived radioactivity, followed by feces, 14CO2, and expired volatiles. However, after dermal exposure, relatively less of the material was eliminated in the urine and more in the feces, suggesting a role for first-pass metabolism through the skin. Citral was almost completely absorbed orally; due to its extreme volatility, much of an applied dermal dose was lost. The citral remaining on the skin was fairly well absorbed. No effect of oral dose, from 5 to 500 mg/kg, was detected on disposition. Although the feces was a minor route of excretion, approximately 25% of the administered dose was eliminated via the bile within 4 hr of an iv dose. The metabolism of citral was both rapid and extensive. Within 5 min of an iv dose, no unmetabolized citral could be detected in the blood. Repeated exposure to citral resulted in an increase in biliary elimination, without any significant change in the pattern of urinary, fecal, or exhaled excretion. This suggests that citral may induce at least one pathway of its own metabolism. The rapid metabolism and excretion of this compound suggest that significant bioaccumulation of citral would not occur.


Diliberto JJUsha GBirnbaum LS. Disposition of citral in male Fischer rats. Drug Metab Dispos. 1988;16(5):721-727.

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