Fundamental and applied toxicology : official journal of the Society of Toxicology

Prechronic inhalation toxicity studies of isobutyl nitrite.

PMID 1516772


Isobutyl nitrite (IBN) is a volatile liquid that has become increasingly popular as an inhaled recreational drug. To investigate short-term toxic effects and establish exposure parameters for chronic inhalation studies, F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice were exposed to IBN vapors on a 6 hr/day + t90, 5 days/week schedule. Twelve exposures were administered at concentrations of 0, 100, 200, 400, 600, and 800 ppm IBN. This exposure series resulted in mortality in rats exposed to greater than or equal to 600 ppm and mice exposed to 800 ppm. Animals exposed at the lower concentrations developed hyperplasia of the bronchiolar and nasal turbinate epithelium (rats and mice) and lymphocytic atrophy in the spleen and thymus (mice). Longer term, 13-week, subchronic exposures were conducted at concentrations of 0, 10, 25, 75, 150, and 300 ppm IBN. Exposure to 300 ppm IBN reduced the body weight gains in both sexes of rats and in female mice. IBN-related clinical pathology changes included reduced RBC counts accompanied by moderate increases in mean corpuscular volume and reticulocyte counts, increased WBC counts, and mildly increased methemoglobin concentration. Bone marrow hyperplasia was observed in all groups of IBN-exposed rats, while in mice only females at greater than or equal to 150 ppm IBN displayed this change. Excessive splenic pulp hematopoiesis was noted in mice at all IBN exposure levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)