Interlaboratory study comparison of the 15-day intact adult male rat screening assay: evaluation of an antithyroid chemical and a negative control chemical

Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2012 Feb;95(1):63-78. doi: 10.1002/bdrb.20343. Epub 2011 Nov 29.


Validation of the 15-day intact adult male rat screening assay (IAMRSA), an endocrine activity screen, was extended beyond the 28 substances evaluated to date. Two independent laboratories evaluated specificity using allyl alcohol (AA), a putative negative control, and DE-71 (technical grade pentabromodiphenyl ether) for comparison with previous pubertal assays that demonstrated thyroid effects. Male rats (15/group) were gavaged daily with AA (0, 10, 30, or 40 mg/kg/day) or DE-71 (0, 3, 30, or 60 mg/kg/day) for 15 days. Body and organ weights and serum hormone concentrations were measured, and a limited histopathological assessment was conducted. AA results were considered negative at doses that did not exceed the maximum tolerated dose (MTD); effects reported were dose-related decreases in weight gain, increased liver weights and, although the pattern varied across studies, alterations in some androgen-sensitive endpoints in the high-dose where the maximum tolerated dose was exceeded. In the DE-71 studies, dose-dependent increases in liver weights (consistent with hepatic enzyme induction), decreases in tri-iodothyronine and thyroxine, concomitant thyroid stimulating hormone increases were observed and one laboratory reported histopathological thyroid changes in mid- and high-dose groups, and the other increased thyroid weights. For DE-71, the IAMRSA was comparable in sensitivity to the pubertal assays. Overall, the specificity and sensitivity of the IAMRSA for deployment in an endocrine screening battery are supported. However, differentiating primary endocrine-mediated effects from secondary effects caused by systemic toxicity will be challenging, emphasizing the need to utilize a battery of assays and a weight of evidence approach when evaluating the potential endocrine activity of chemicals.

Keywords: allyl alcohol; endocrine disruption; endocrine screening; pentabromodiphenyl ether.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Antithyroid Agents / toxicity*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / toxicity*
  • Laboratories*
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Propanols / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Antithyroid Agents
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Propanols
  • allyl alcohol
  • pentabromodiphenyl ether