Sulfamethoxazole (SMX), a hormone-mediated rodent-specific nongenotoxic carcinogen, was administered to CB6F1 mice carrying a human prototype c-Ha-ras gene (Tg-rasH2) at doses of 0, 25, 100 or 400 mg/kg/day and to the wild-type mice at a dose of 400 mg/kg/day in feed for 26 weeks to evaluate the carcinogenicity and to validate the Tg-rasH2 model. N-Methyl-N-nitrosourea was administered at an intraperitoneal dose of 75 mg/kg to Tg-rasH2 as a positive control and the experimental system was confirmed to be valid. Histopathological examination revealed adenomas of the lung and Harderian gland and hemangiosarcoma of the spleen at low frequencies in the Tg-rasH2 treated with SMX; however, no statistically significant differences were observed either in the onset or prevalence rates of these neoplasms compared with that in the control group. Between the wild-type mice and Tg-rasH2, the onset rate and prevalence of the neoplasms were not significantly different, but the neoplasms tended to be more frequent in Tg-rasH2 mice showing a sensitivity to tumorigenicity. Follicular epithelial cell hyperplasia was observed in the thyroid gland in the groups of Tg-rasH2 given 100 mg/kg SMX or more, but no neoplastic lesion was observed. SMX was judged to be negative for carcinogenic potential in Tg-rasH2 in the present study.
A computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system was used to examine the motion of epididymal spermatozoa derived from cyclophosphamide (CP)-treated male rats. Male rats were orally dosed daily for 1 week with 20 mg/kg of CP. Males were euthanized or were mated 3 times with untreated females at 1 day, 3 weeks, and 8 weeks after the final treatment. Significant decreases in testicular and epididymal weights and epididymal sperm counts of the treated animals were noted after 8-week recovery. Histopathological morphometry of the testis revealed minimal damage to spermatogonia at 1 day after the final treatment and to spermatocytes after 3-week recovery in the CP-treated group. On Caesarian section, increased post-implantation losses were found in females mated with CP-treated males in matings starting 1 day and 3 weeks after the final treatment. On the other hand, none of the sperm motion parameters of treated males derived from the CASA system exhibited significant changes at any time points, although the spermatozoa of treated males at 1 day and 3 weeks after the final treatment were damaged at the DNA level, and the spermatozoa of males after 8-week recovery had been the target cells of CP when they were spermatogonia in the testis. It was thus found that damaged spermatozoa could exhibit no changes on their motion when the damage was confined to the nuclei, and that the effect of CP on sperm nuclei was reversible.
In order to evaluate the threshold dose of thyroid tumor-promoting effects of KA, male F344 rats were initiated with N-bis(2-hydroxypropyl) nitrosamine (DHPN; 2000 mg/kg body wt., single s.c. injection) and, starting 1 week later, received pulverized basal diet containing 0%, 0.002%, 0.008%, 0.03%, 0.125%, 0.5% or 2%KA for 20 weeks. Five rats each in the 0%, 0.125%, 0.5% and 2%KA groups were sacrificed at week 12, and 10 rats each in all groups at week 20. As an additional experiment, three groups without DHPN initiation received basal diet, a diet containing 0.5% or 2%KA for 20 weeks. The serum T4 levels were significantly decreased in the DHPN-initiated groups given 0.125%KA or more at week 12. No significant decreases in serum T3 levels were observed in the groups treated with DHPN+KA and a significant increase was evident in the 2%KA-alone group at week 20. Some rats in the DHPN+2%KA group at weeks 12 and 20 and the 2%KA-alone group at week 20 showed pronounced elevation of serum TSH. Thyroid weights were significantly increased in the DHPN-initiated groups receiving 0.5% and 2%KA at weeks 12 and 20 and in the 2%KA-alone group at week 20. Histopathologically, the incidences of focal thyroid follicular cell hyperplasias in the DHPN-initiated groups treated with 0.125%, 0.5% and 2%KA at week 20 were 5/10, 10/10 and 8/8 rats, respectively. At week 20, adenomas were observed in 7/10 rats in the DHPN+0.5%KA group and 8/8 rats in the DHPN+2%KA group, and carcinomas were observed in 6/8 rats in the DHPN+2%KA group. In the groups without DHPN initiation, only focal follicular cell hyperplasia was observed in 1/9 rats in the 2%KA-alone group. These results suggest that the no-observed-adverse effect for the thyroid tumor-promoting effect of KA is 0.03% (15.5 mg/kg/day) under the present experimental conditions, and that KA possesses weak tumorigenic activity in rats due to continuous serum TSH stimulation by a non-genotoxic mechanism.
In the field of routine single-dose toxicity studies, we occasionally meet with transient leukocytosis associated with an increase in fibrinogen in beagle dogs within a few days after treatment with the test article. Only a little is known, however, about the toxicological significance of these changes. However, these changes were thought to belong to the category of “Acute Phase Response, APR,” which has been known for a long time in connection with injury, trauma or infection. Aiming at proper understanding of these experiences, we surveyed 25 single-dose toxicity studies (7 intravenous bolus, 5 intravenous infusion, 12 oral and 1 subcutaneous treatment, hereafter referred to simply as i.v. bolus, i.v. infusion, oral and s.c.) in beagle dogs, provided with data from hematological examinations. We set the following criteria as a positive response in the present survey: increases of 50% or more in either or both WBC or fibrinogen compared to the predosing value, transiently from Day 1 to Day 3 of the study. Among 25 studies surveyed, about 1/2 of the studies exhibited increases of 50% or more in either or both fibrinogen or WBC counts compared to the predosing values showing dose-dependency transiently on Day 1 or Day 2. These changes were remarkable after intravenous application. Oral application produced similar effects, although the incidence and severity were low compared to the i.v. routes. Regarding blood chemical and hematological changes other than changes in fibrinogen and WBC counts, there were no essential differences between the groups of studies with and without the changes in fibrinogen and WBC counts. These changes were thought to be characteristic and to have occurred as incidents unrelated to other changes. The reported changes seen in single-dose toxicity studies may belong to the category of APR as the non-specific mechanism of living bodies as stated by Burns et al. (1996).
Occurrence of characteristic transient changes in WBC counts and fibrinogen values in beagle dogs subjected to single-dose toxicity studies was pointed out in the previous survey (Hoshiya et al., 2001). These changes were thought to belong to the category of “Acute Phase Response (APR)”. The purpose of the present study is to compare the APR found in the single-dose toxicity studies surveyed in our previous report with those experimentally produced by intravenous injection of 1 μg/kg endotoxin (Experiment 1), and surgical treatment (Experiment 2) (intravenous indwelling catheterization). The animals used in Experiment 2 were intravenously injected with 1 μg/kg endotoxin 2 weeks after the operation (Experiment 3), and the results were compared with those of Experiments 1 and 2. Each experimental group consisted of 5 dogs, and clinical, hematological and blood chemical examinations were performed. Essentially the same changes were observed in response to the intravenous injection with endotoxin and the surgical operation for intravenous indwelling catheterization in beagle dogs. The most remarkable changes common to both treatments were transient increases in the fibrinogen values and WBC counts during the 2 days from Day 1 to Day 2 of the treatment. These changes were preceded by decreases in WBC counts and fibrinogen in Experiments 1 and 3. Increased erythrocyte sedimentation rates were recorded in parallel with the increase in fibrinogen. The results obtained in the present study were similar to those found in dogs treated with various xenobiotic substances in our laboratory. These changes due to different causes were thought to belong to the category of “APR” with the same biological significance as a non-specific defense mechanism.