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Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Propargyl Alcohol (CAS No. 107-19-7) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Inhalation Studies)

  • PMID: 18974778

Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Propargyl Alcohol (CAS No. 107-19-7) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Inhalation Studies)

National Toxicology Program. Natl Toxicol Program Tech Rep Ser.

Abstract

Propargyl alcohol is a commercially available acetylenic primary alcohol. It is also a by-product in the industrial synthesis of butynediol from acetylene and formaldehyde with copper acetylide as catalyst. Propargyl alcohol is used as a reactant/chemical intermediate, pharmaceutical intermediate, agricultural chemical intermediate, soil fumigant, corrosion inhibitor, solvent stabilizer, and polymer modifier. It has also been used to prevent the hydrogen embrittlement of steel. Propargyl alcohol was nominated by the National Cancer Institute for study because of the potential for human exposure in occupational settings through inhalation and dermal contact. Male and female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice were exposed to propargyl alcohol (greater than 99% pure) by inhalation for 2 weeks, 3 months, or 2 years. Genetic toxicology studies were conducted in Salmonella typhimurium and mouse peripheral blood erythrocytes. 2-WEEK STUDY IN RATS: Groups of five male and five female rats were exposed to propargyl alcohol vapor at concentrations of 0, 31.3, 62.5, 125, 250, or 500 ppm, 6 hours plus T(90 )(12 minutes) per day, 5 days per week for 16 days. All males exposed to 125 ppm or greater and all females exposed to 250 or 500 ppm died by the end of day 3 of the study, and one 125 ppm female died on day 5. Mean body weights were significantly decreased in 62.5 ppm males and 125 ppm females. Clinical findings in the 125 and 250 ppm groups included lethargy, ataxia, abnormal breathing, and nasal/eye discharge. Right kidney weights of 62.5 and 125 ppm females and liver weights of 125 ppm females were significantly greater than those of the chamber controls. All 250 and 500 ppm males and females had moderate to marked periportal necrosis, congestion, and erythrophagocytosis of the liver. 2-WEEK STUDY IN MICE: Groups of five male and five female mice were exposed to propargyl alcohol vapor at concentrations of 0, 31.3, 62.5, 125, 250, or 500 ppm, 6 hours plus T(90) (12 minutes) per day, 5 days per week for 17 days. All mice exposed to 125 ppm or greater died by day 3 of the study. Mean body weights of mice exposed to 62.5 ppm were significantly less than those of the chamber controls. Clinical findings in the 62.5 and/or 125 ppm groups included abnormal breathing, nasal/eye discharge, thinness, and lethargy. Right kidney weights of 31.3 ppm mice were significantly greater, and thymus weights of 62.5 ppm males were significantly less than those of the chamber controls. The livers of all males and females exposed to 250 or 500 ppm exhibited marked periportal necrosis, congestion, and erythrophagocytosis; these lesions also occurred in all 125 ppm males with less severity. 3-MONTH STUDY IN RATS: Groups of 10 male and 10 female rats were exposed to propargyl alcohol vapor at concentrations of 0, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64 ppm, 6 hours plus T(90) (12 minutes) per day, 5 days per week for 14 weeks. All rats survived to the end of the study. Mean body weights of all exposed groups were similar to those of the chamber control groups. The incidences of minimal to mild hyperplasia of respiratory epithelium of the nose were significantly increased in all exposed groups except 8 ppm males and 4 ppm females. Squamous metaplasia of the respiratory epithelium was noted in a few males and most females exposed to 64 ppm. Necrosis of olfactory epithelium was present in half of the males and females exposed to 64 ppm and in a few males and females exposed to 32 ppm. 3-MONTH STUDY IN MICE: Groups of 10 male and 10 female mice were exposed to propargyl alcohol vapor at concentrations of 0, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64 ppm, 6 hours plus T(90) (12 minutes) per day, 5 days per week for 14 weeks. All mice survived to the end of the study. Mean body weights of males exposed to 8 ppm or greater and 32 and 64 ppm females were significantly less than those of the chamber control groups. Histopathologic changes occurred in the nasal cavity of mice and involved both the respiratory and olfactory epithelium in groups exposed to 16 ppm or greater. Lesions included minimal to moderate suppurative inflammation, minimal to moderate squamous metaplasia of the respiratory epithelium, minimal to mild hyaline degeneration (accumulation) in the respiratory epithelium, minimal to moderate olfactory epithelial atrophy, minimal to moderate hyperplasia of glands in the olfactory region, minimal necrosis of olfactory epithelium, and minimal to moderate turbinate atrophy. There were no biologically significant differences in organ weights between exposed and chamber control groups. Reproductive tissue parameters of exposed males were similar to those of the chamber controls. Only 2/9 female mice in the 64 ppm group exhibited regular estrous cyclicity compared to 6/10 in the controls. Females exposed to 16 ppm differed from chamber controls in the relative time in the estrous stages, and 64 ppm females had a significantly increased probability of extended estrus. No gross lesions were observed at necropsy. 2-YEAR STUDY IN RATS: Groups of 50 male and 50 female rats were exposed to propargyl alcohol vapor at concentrations of 0, 16, 32, or 64 ppm, 6 hours plus T(90) (14 minutes) per day, 5 days per week for 105 weeks. Survival of 32 and 64 ppm males was significantly less than that of the chamber control group. Mean body weights of males exposed to 64 ppm were less than those of the chamber controls after week 24 of the study. Nasal respiratory epithelial adenomas were present in three 64 ppm males and one 32 ppm female; the incidence in 64 ppm males exceeded the historical control ranges. A spectrum of nonneoplastic lesions occurred in the respiratory and olfactory epithelium of rats at all exposure concentrations. The incidences of respiratory epithelial hyperplasia, respiratory glandular hyperplasia, and olfactory basal cell hyperplasia were significantly increased in all exposed groups of rats. The incidences of lesions of the olfactory epithelium including hyperplasia, glandular hyperplasia, atrophy, respiratory metaplasia, degeneration, necrosis, hyaline droplet accumulation, and chronic active inflammation were significantly increased in one or more exposed groups of males and/or females. The incidence of mononuclear cell leukemia was significantly increased in males exposed to 64 ppm, and the incidence exceeded the historical control ranges. 2-YEAR STUDY IN MICE: Groups of 50 male and 50 female mice were exposed to propargyl alcohol vapor at concentrations of 0, 8, 16, or 32 ppm, 6 hours plus T(90) (14 minutes) per day, 5 days per week for 105 weeks. Survival of exposed groups was similar to that of the chamber control groups. Mean body weights of 16 and 32 ppm females were less than those of the chamber control group after weeks 73 and 21, respectively. Eye abnormality (unspecified) was observed after one full year of exposure with the incidence increasing in an exposure concentration-related manner. The incidences of nasal respiratory epithelial adenoma increased with a positive trend and were significantly increased in groups exposed to 32 ppm. A spectrum of nonneoplastic lesions occurred in the nasal respiratory and olfactory epithelium of mice at all exposure concentrations. The incidences of respiratory epithelial hyperplasia, respiratory glandular hyperplasia, and squamous metaplasia were significantly increased in most exposed groups of mice. Suppurative inflammation was often associated with the squamous metaplasia, and turbinate atrophy was present in all exposed mice (except one 16 ppm male). The incidences of olfactory epithelial atrophy and respiratory metaplasia were increased in the 16 and 32 ppm groups. Significantly increased incidences of Harderian gland adenoma occurred in 8 and 32 ppm males.

Genetic toxicology: Propargyl alcohol was mutagenic in Salmonella typhimurium strain TA100 in the absence of liver S9 activation enzymes only; no mutagenicity was observed in TA100 in the presence of S9 enzymes, in TA1535 without S9, or in TA98 with or without S9. In vivo, no significant increases in the frequencies of micronucleated normochromatic erythrocytes were observed in peripheral blood samples from male mice exposed by inhalation to propargyl alcohol for 3 months. In female mice, propargyl alcohol exposure produced a small increase in micronucleated erythrocytes that was judged to be equivocal. No significant changes in the percentage of polychromatic erythrocytes were seen in either male or female mice after 3 months of exposure to propargyl alcohol.

Conclusions: Under the conditions of these 2-year inhalation studies, there was some evidence of carcinogenetic activity of propargyl alcohol in male F344/N rats based on increased incidences of nasal respiratory epithelial adenoma and mononuclear cell leukemia. There was no evidence of carcinogenic activity of propargyl alcohol in female F344/N rats exposed to 16, 32, or 64 ppm. There was some evidence of carcinogenic activity of propargyl alcohol in male and female B6C3F1 mice based on increased incidences of nasal respiratory epithelial adenoma. The increased incidences of Harderian gland adenoma in male B6C3F1 mice may have been related to exposure to propargyl alcohol. Exposure to propargyl alcohol resulted in increased incidences of nonneoplastic nasal lesions in male and female rats and mice. Synonyms: Ethynylcarbinol; 1-hydroxy-2-propyne; 3-hydroxy-1-propyne; PA; 1-propyn-3-ol; 1-propyn-3-yl alcohol; 2-propynol; 3-propynol; propynyl alcohol; 2-propynyl alcohol.

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