Carbon disulfide. Just toxic or also bioregulatory and/or therapeutic?
The overview presented here has the goal of examining whether carbon disulfide (CS2) may play a role as an endogenously generated bioregulator and/or has therapeutic value. The neuro- and reproductive system toxicity of CS2 has been documented from its long-term use in the viscose rayon industry. CS2 is also used in the production of dithiocarbamates (DTCs), which are potent fungicides and pesticides, thus raising concern that CS2 may be an environmental toxin. However, DTCs also have recognized medicinal use in the treatment of heavy metal poisonings as well as having potency for reducing inflammation. Three known small molecule bioregulators (SMBs) nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide were initially viewed as environmental toxins. Yet each is now recognized as having intricate, though not fully elucidated, biological functions at concentration regimes far lower than the toxic doses. The literature also implies that the mammalian chemical biology of CS2 has broader implications from inflammatory states to the gut microbiome. On these bases, we suggest that the very nature of CS2 poisoning may be related to interrupting or overwhelming relevant regulatory or signaling process(es), much like other SMBs.