Postnatal development of rat pups after maternal exposure to diethanolamine
BACKGROUND: Diethanolamine (DEA), a widely used surfactant, was administered to pregnant mice at the oral LD10 resulting in failure of pups to grow and thrive through postnatal day (PND) 3 [National Toxicology Program, 1987; York et al., Teratology 37:503-504, 1988]. The toxicity profile for DEA differs among rodent species. This study investigated DEA-induced postnatal toxicity in a second species. METHODS: Timed-mated Sprague-Dawley rats were dosed (0, 50, 125, 200, 250, or 300 mg DEA/kg/day, p.o.) on gestational days (GD) 6-19. Dams and pups were monitored for body weight, feed/water intake, clinical signs, litter size, and sex ratio. At necropsy (PND 21), maternal liver and kidney weights and number of uterine implantation sites were recorded. RESULTS: The high-dose group was terminated early due to excessive toxicity. The estimated maternal LD10 was 218 mg/kg/day. Maternal effects included decreased body weight and relative feed intake (200 mg/kg/day), transiently reduced relative water intake (125 and 250 mg/kg/day), and increased absolute kidney weight (125 mg/kg/day). Postimplantation loss (PND 0) and pup mortality (PND 0-4) were increased (200 and 125 mg/kg/day, respectively). Pup body weight was reduced (200 mg/kg/day) as late as PND 21. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates reduced postnatal growth and survival in a second species after gestational exposure to DEA, persistence of toxic effects through the end of lactation, possibly due to long elimination half-life, and maternal and developmental toxicity no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAELs) (50 mg/kg/day) and lowest-observed-adverse-effect level (LOAELs) (125 mg/kg/day) for oral DEA exposure during embryo/fetal development in the rat. Birth Defects Res B 74:243-254, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.