2009 Volume 34 Issue Special Pages SP121-SP128
The objective of this study was to determine the optimal period of administration for detection of ovarian toxicity in rat repeated-dose toxicity studies. A well-known ovarian toxicant, ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (EGME), was administered to female rats at dose levels of 0, 30, 100, or 300 mg/kg for 2 or 4 weeks (repeated-dose toxicity studies). The same doses were administered to female rats for 2 weeks prior to mating, during mating, and until Day 6 of pregnancy (fertility study). In the repeated-dose toxicity studies, continuous diestrus was observed at ≥ 100 mg/kg regardless of period of administration. The alterations of ovarian morphology observed at ≥ 100 mg/kg after 2 or 4 weeks of administration were characterized by hypertrophy of the corpora lutea with decreased cellular debris indicating apoptosis, and increased proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-negative large atretic follicles. The finding that newly-formed basophilic corpora lutea were scarce in affected animals exhibiting continuous diestrus suggested suppression of ovulation due to hypertrophic corpora lutea. In the fertility study, irregular estrous cycles, prolonged mating periods, lower pregnancy rates and decreased corpora lutea of pregnancy were observed at ≥ 100 mg/kg. The irregularities of estrous cycle observed in some animals at 30 mg/kg were minimal. The ovarian histopathological changes in repeated-dose toxicity studies correlated well with impairment of female fertility found in the fertility study. It is concluded that a repeated-dose toxicity study with a treatment period for 2 weeks or longer is sufficient for evaluation of ovarian toxicity induced by EGME.