Sains Malaysiana, 2007;36:39-44.


Ferrocene plays an important role in chemistry and industry. The structure and bonding discovered in ferrocene has led to new developments in organometallic chemistry, and the discovery of entirely new organometallic compounds. The high stability of this compound is also related to its interesting electrochemical properties that makes it effective electrochemical, reduction and combustion catalysts. Nevertheless, ferrocenyl derivatives are also capable of enhancing the activity of certain biological compounds. Indeed, recently ferrocene and its derivatives have been incorporated into antimalarial agents. Therefore, the evaluation of the possible toxic effects of ferrocene derivative called ferrocenium tetrachloroantimonate (C10H10FeSbCl4 or FC) on acute and subchronic toxicity tests using different dose concentrations according to the body weight for different time interval was carried out in an in vivo model. Results showed that FC was acutely toxic with the LD50 value of 194.70 mg/kg body weight (BW) with signs of toxicity associated with respiratory depression. In the 28-day acute toxicity test, the dose of 100 mg/kg BW resulted in 60 % mortality with signs of gross toxicity, adverse pharmacological effects or abnormal behaviors during the 28 days observation. While in the 90-day subchronic toxicity test at the lower dose of 10 mg/kg BW, however, showed no significant differences (p>0.05) in the mortality rates, and showed no sign of toxicity. These results indicated that FC had different toxicity levels, and mice appeared to tolerate well at the lower dose of 10 mg/kg BW.