Safety assessment of nebulized xylitol in beagle dogs

Inhal Toxicol. 2012 May;24(6):365-72. doi: 10.3109/08958378.2012.673180.


Xylitol, a potential cystic fibrosis treatment, lowers the salt concentration of airway surface liquid and enhances innate immunity of human airways. The study objective was to evaluate the potential toxicity/recovery from a 14-consecutive day (7 days/week), facemask inhalation administration of nebulized xylitol solution in Beagle dogs. Aerosolized xylitol was generated through three Aerotech II nebulizers operating at approximately 40 psi driving pressure. Test article groups were exposed to the same concentration of aerosolized xylitol for 1, 0.5, or 0.25 h for the high, mid, and low exposures, respectively. A control group was exposed for 1 h to a nebulized normal saline solution. Animals were sacrificed the day following the last exposure or subsequently after 14 non-exposure days. Study endpoints included clinical observations, body weights, ophthalmology, and physical examinations, food consumption, clinical pathology, urinalyses, organ weights, and histopathology. Mean xylitol aerosol concentrations for all groups were approximately 3.5 mg/l. Mean total deposited doses to the pulmonary region were estimated as 21, 11, and 5 mg/kg, for the high-, mid-, and low-exposure groups, respectively. All dogs survived to the scheduled necropsy. No treatment-related findings were observed due to xylitol exposure in any end point examined. Lung findings (mild interstitial infiltration, macrophage hyperplasia, alveolitis, and bronchitis) were consistent among exposed and control groups. No exposure-related effect of xylitol in any parameter assessed was seen during or after the 14-day exposure in Beagle dogs. The No Observed Effect Level was the high-exposure level and suggests that inhaled xylitol is safe for clinical administration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / toxicity*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / toxicity*
  • Toxicity Tests, Subacute
  • Xylitol / administration & dosage
  • Xylitol / toxicity*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Xylitol