In which organ does paraquat primarily accumulate and cause toxic effects?
Paraquat, an herbicide, mainly accumulates in the lung (pulmonary concentrations can be 6 to 10 times higher than those in the plasma), where it is retained even when blood levels start to decrease. The pulmonary effects can be explained by the participation of the polyamine transport system abundantly expressed in the membrane of alveolar cells type I, II, and Clara cells.
Dinis-Oliveira RJ et al. Paraquat Poisonings: Mechanisms of Lung Toxicity, Clinical Features and Treatment. Clin Tox 2008; 3(1): 13-71. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408440701669959
Submitted by: Mary O’Keefe, PharmD