Cellular and molecular effects of trimethyltin and triethyltin: Relevance to organotin neurotoxicity

Michael Aschner, Judy Lynn Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Many of the neurotoxic aspects of organotin exposure have been described. Organotin exposure culminates in its accumulation in the CNS and PNS. The clinical picture is dominated by neurological disturbances; yet, the primary basis for their neurotoxicity is unknown. Trimethyltin (TMT) is primarily a CNS neurotoxin affecting neurons within the hippocampal pyramidal band and the fascia dentata. Triethyltin (TET) is a neurotoxin that produces a pathological picture dominated by brain and spinal cord edema. The first part of this review summarizes the current understanding of the interaction of TMT and TET with biologically active sites in the induction of neurotoxicity. In the second part, several hypotheses for the differential neurotoxic effects of these organotins and their shortcomings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Mechanisms
  • Neuroglia
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Triethyltin
  • Trimethyltin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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