Ingestion of the rat poison N-3-pyridylmethyl-N'-p-nitrophenylurea (PNU) produced ocular toxicity in three humans and in an animal model, the Dutch Belted rabbit. The electroretinogram b wave was especially susceptible to the effects of the rodenticide, and the target tissue appeared to be the retinal pigment epithelium. Injection of PNU itself did not produce ocular toxicity. The poison had to be administered orally. Gentamicin administered orally with PNU prevented the ocular toxicity. Presumably this antibiotic killed those gastrointestinal bacteria responsible for PNU's metabolism into an ocular toxin. L-tryptophan, a known antidote for the lethal effects of PNU, was an antidote for the ocular toxicity when administered orally but not when administered parenterally.
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