An F1-extended one-generation reproductive toxicity study in Crl:CD(SD) rats with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid

Toxicol Sci. 2013 Dec;136(2):527-47. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kft213. Epub 2013 Sep 26.


2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was assessed for systemic toxicity, reproductive toxicity, developmental neurotoxicity (DNT), developmental immunotoxicity (DIT), and endocrine toxicity. CD rats (27/sex/dose) were exposed to 0, 100, 300, 600 (female), or 800 (male) ppm 2,4-D in diet. Nonlinear toxicokinetic behavior was shown at high doses; the renal clearance saturation threshold for 2,4-D was exceeded markedly in females and slightly exceeded in males. Exposure was 4 weeks premating, 7 weeks postmating for P1 males and through lactation for P1 females. F1 offspring were examined for survival and development, and at weaning, pups were divided in cohorts, by sex and dose, and by systemic toxicity (10), DNT (10), DIT (20), and reproductive toxicity (≥ 23). Remaining weanlings were evaluated for systemic toxicity and neuropathology (10-12). Body weight decreased during lactation in high-dose P1 females and in F1 pups. Kidney was the primary target organ, with slight degeneration of proximal convoluted tubules observed in high-dose P1 males and in high-dose F1 males and females. A slight intergenerational difference in kidney toxicity was attributed to increased intake of 2,4-D in F1 offspring. Decreased weanling testes weights and delayed preputial separation in F1 males were attributed to decreased body weights. Endocrine-related effects were limited to slight thyroid hormone changes and adaptive histopathology in high-dose GD 17 dams seen only at a nonlinear toxicokinetic dose. 2,4-D did not cause reproductive toxicity, DNT, or DIT. The "No Observed Adverse Effect Level" for systemic toxicity was 300 ppm in both males (16.6 mg/kg/day) and females (20.6 mg/kg/day), which is approximately 6700- to 93 000-fold higher than that reported for 2,4-D exposures in human biomonitoring studies.

Keywords: 2,4-D; EOGRTS; KMD; androgen; developmental immunotoxicity; developmental neurotoxicity; endocrine; estrogen; extended one-generation reproductive toxicity study; kinetically derived maximum dose; reproductive toxicity; systemic toxicity; thyroid; toxicokinetics..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endocrine Glands / drug effects
  • Female
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Testis / drug effects


  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid