Drug and chemical toxicology

Developmental toxicity of diglyme by inhalation in the rat.

PMID 9598295


Diglyme (Diethylene glycol dimethyl ether, CAS No. 111-96-6) is a glycol ether which has been used in solvent formulations. To assess the potential developmental toxicity of this chemical, groups of pregnant Crl:CD BR rats were exposed to either 0 (control, room air only), 25, 100, or 400 ppm diglyme by inhalation for 6 hrs/day for Days 7 through 16 or gestation (day on which the copulation plug was detected was designation Day 1 G). All female rats were euthanized on day 21G and the fetuses were examined. An additional group of rats was treated with 25 ppm 2-methoxethanol (2ME) to serve as a positive control and for comparison of relative potencies. Maternal toxicity evident as depressed feed consumption at 400 ppm and increased liver weights at 100 ppm. There were no dams in the 400 ppm group with live fetuses (all litters consisted on resorbed conceptuses). Embryo viability was unaffected by concentrations of diglyme as high as 100 ppm. 2ME produced increased liver weights and depressed feed consumption at 25 ppm. Embryo-fetal toxicity was evident as a concentration-related decrease in fetal weight at diglyme concentrations as high as 100 ppm (and with 2ME). There were no fetuses derived from the 400 ppm diglyme-treated dams. A low incidence of structural malformations was observed in all diglyme groups (as well as with 2ME). The incidence of variations, (primarily delayed skeletal ossification and rudimentary ribs) was increased in the 25 and 100 ppm diglyme groups. The incidence and severity in the diglyme and 2ME groups exposed to 25 ppm was essentially the same suggesting similar potency for producing structural variations. In this study, diglyme was embryolethal at 400 ppm; a level that otherwise was only marginally toxic to the dam. Maternal and fetal toxicity also were demonstrated at 100 ppm. Although the fetal defects detected following diglyme exposure at 25 ppm were not significantly different from control values (with the exception of the incidence of skeletal developmental variations), the pattern, type, and incidence of variations were similar to those seen at 100 ppm, suggesting that 25 ppm was an effect level that approaches the lower end of the developmental toxicity response curve. Therefore, the no-observable-effect level (NOEL) for diglyme exposure in the dam is 25 ppm and a NOEL was not clearly demonstrated for the conceptus.