Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

Assessment of the developmental toxicity and placental transfer of 1,2-diethylbenzene in rats.

PMID 10566880


Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 1,2-diethylbenzene (1,2-DEB) by gavage on gestational days (GD) 6 through 20 at dose levels of 0 (corn oil), 5, 15, 25 or 35 mg/kg. The dams were euthanized on GD21 and the offspring were weighed and examined for external, visceral and skeletal alterations. Maternal toxicity, indicated by significant decreases in body weight gain and food consumption, was observed at doses of 15 mg/kg and above. Developmental toxicity, expressed as significantly reduced foetal body weights, was seen at doses of 15 mg/kg and higher. There was no evidence of embryolethal or teratogenic effects at any dose tested. The placental transfer of 1,2-DEB was examined after a single oral dose of 25 mg [14C]1,2-DEB/kg on GD18. Maternal and foetal tissues were collected at intervals from 1 to 48 hours. Placental and foetal tissues accounted for less than 0.35% of the administered dose. Levels of radiocarbon in foetuses were lower than those in maternal plasma and placenta at all time points. Analysis performed at 1, 2 and 4 hours indicated that ethyl acetate extractable (acidic) metabolites were predominant in the maternal plasma while n-hexane extractable (neutral) compounds represented the major part of radioactivity in the placenta and foetus. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that 1,2-DEB causes mild foetotoxicity at maternal toxic doses and that the exposure of the developing rat foetus to 1,2-DEB and/or metabolites after maternal administration of 1,2-DEB in late gestation is small.

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1,2-Diethylbenzene, ≥99.0% (GC)
1,2-Diethylbenzene, technical grade, 92%