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Toxicol Sci. 2001 Mar;60(1):112-20.

Evaluation of the developmental toxicity of isoeugenol in Sprague-Dawley (CD) rats.

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  • 1Chemistry and Life Sciences, Research Triangle Institute, P.O. Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-2194, USA.


Isoeugenol, used as a perfumery and flavoring agent, was evaluated for developmental toxicity. Timed-pregnant CD((R)) outbred albino Sprague-Dawley rats received isoeugenol (250, 500, or 1000 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (5 ml/kg corn oil) by gavage on gestational days (gd) 6 through 19. Maternal food and water consumption, body weight, and clinical signs were monitored at regular intervals throughout gestation. At termination (gd 20), confirmed-pregnant females (23-25 per group) were evaluated for gestational outcome. All live fetuses were weighed and examined for external malformations, and approximately 50% were evaluated for visceral or skeletal malformations. There were no treatment-related maternal deaths. Clinical signs associated with isoeugenol exposure included dose-related evidence of sedation and aversion to treatment (rooting behavior) in all isoeugenol groups, as well as an increased incidence of piloerection at >/= 500 mg/kg/day. Maternal body weight, weight gain, and gestational weight gain (corrected for gravid uterine weight) were reduced at all doses in a dose-related manner. Gravid uterine weight was significantly decreased at the mid and high doses, whereas maternal relative liver weight was increased at all three dose levels. During treatment (gd 6 to 20), maternal relative food consumption was significantly decreased at the high dose, and maternal relative water consumption was elevated in the mid- and high-dose groups. Prenatal mortality (resorption or late fetal death) was unaffected. At 1000 mg/kg/day, average fetal body weight/litter was decreased by 7% (male) or 9% (female). Incidences of fetal morphological anomalies were statistically equivalent among groups, except for an increase in the incidence of unossified sternebra(e), a skeletal variation, at the high dose. In summary, the maternal toxicity lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) was 250 mg/kg/day based primarily on reduced body weight and gestational weight gain (corrected for gravid uterine weight), and the maternal toxicity no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) was not determined in this study. The developmental toxicity LOAEL was 1000 mg/kg/day based on intrauterine growth retardation and mildly delayed skeletal ossification. The developmental toxicity NOAEL was 500 mg/kg/day.

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