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Drug and chemical toxicology

Developmental toxicity studies of methyl ethyl ketoxime (MEKO) in rats and rabbits.


PMID 12953656

Abstract

The developmental toxicity of methyl ethyl ketoxime (MEKO), an industrial antioxidant used primarily as an antiskinning agent in alkyd paint, was investigated in rats and rabbits. Following preliminary dose range finding studies, groups of 25 pregnant rats or 18 pregnant rabbits were dosed by gavage with aqueous solutions of MEKO at 0, 60, 200, or 600 mg/kg (rats) or 0, 8, 14, 24, or 40 mg/kg (rabbits) on gestation days 6-15 or 6-18, respectively. In rats, dose-dependent clinical signs of maternal toxicity including reduced body weight gains were noted at 200 and 600 mg/kg. At 60 mg/kg and above enlarged spleens were observed at necropsy. The preliminary study found methemoglobin formation and reticulocytosis indicative of anemia at these dose levels. No treatment-related gestational effects, malformations or developmental variations were observed in the rats. In rabbits, 3 females aborted and 8 females were found dead at 40 mg/kg between gestation days 11 and 24. Clinical signs of maternal toxicity were present in surviving doses at this dose level. Body weight gains were reduced at 24 and 40 mg/kg. The preliminary study indicated maternal hematological effects in the rabbits similar to the rats at dose levels as low as 10 mg/kg. MEKO was not considered to have produced any treatment-related gestational effects, malformations or developmental variations in the rabbit at dose levels at or below 24 mg/kg. Because of excessive maternal mortality and abortions at the 40 mg/kg dose level, only 6 rabbits produced litters. The severe maternal toxicity and limited number of litters precluded a full assessment of developmental toxicity at 40 mg/kg. Nonetheless, MEKO did not appear to be teratogenic to the rabbit at this dose level.

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