The toxicity of triethyl-and tri-n-butyl-germanium acetates has been studied after their administration to rats. Both compounds had a low toxicity. Triethylgermanium had less than one-tenth of the toxicity of triethyltin or triethyl-lead and, unlike them, it did not appear to have a predominant action on the central nervous system.
In biochemical studies in vitro, tri-n-butylgermanium was found to be more active than trimethyl-, triethyl- or tri-n-propyl-germanium in inhibiting both glucose oxidation by slices of rat brain cortex and processes involved in oxidative phosphorylation by rat liver mitochondria. All the germanium compounds tested had less than one-hundredth the activity of the corresponding trialkyltin and trialkyl-lead compounds.
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