Subchronic oral toxicity of 1,4-dioxane was examined by administering 1,4-dioxane in drinking water at 6 different concentrations of 0 (control), 640, 1,600, 4,000, 10,000 or 25,000 ppm (wt/wt) to F344 rats and BDF1mice of both sexes for 13 weeks. Food and water consumption and terminal body weight were decreased dose-dependently in rats and mice. A dose-dependent increase in the relative weights of kidney and lung was noted in rats and mice, while the relative liver weight was increased only in rats. Increases in plasma levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and a decrease in plasma glucose were noted primarily in the rats and mice dosed 25,000 ppm. Histopathological examination revealed that 1,4-dioxane affected the upper and lower respiratory tracts, liver, kidneys and brain in rats, while only the former two organs were affected in mice. Nuclear enlargement occurred in the respiratory, olfactory, tracheal and bronchial epithelia of the 1,4-dioxane-dosed rats and mice. The 1,4-dioxane-induced hepatic lesions were characterized by centrilobular swelling and necrosis in rats and mice and by glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P)-positive altered hepatocellular foci in rats, which are known as preneoplastic lesions. A no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) was determined at 640 ppm for both rats and mice, since the nuclear enlargement in the nasal respiratory epithelium and the centrilobular swelling of hepatocytes in rats and the nuclear enlargement in the bronchial epithelium in mice were observed at 1,600 ppm. The NOAEL value corresponded to the estimated 1,4-dioxane intake of 52 mg/kg/day in rats and 170 mg/kg/day in mice.
2008 The Japanese Society of Toxicology