Mucopolysaccharidosis and lipidosis in rats treated with tilorone analogues

Toxicology. 1989 Oct 2;58(2):145-54. doi: 10.1016/0300-483x(89)90004-8.


The experimental immunomodulatory agent tilorone was previously reported to induce generalized mucopolysaccharidosis (lysosomal storage of sulfated glycosaminoglycans) and lipidosis in rats. While lipidosis is a side effect common to many cationic amphiphilic compounds, none of them except tilorone has been known to cause mucopolysaccharidosis in intact animals. The purpose of the present histochemical and ultrastructural study was to examine whether or not mucopolysaccharidosis can be induced by tilorone analogues. Three analogues were selected and administered to rats in short-term and subchronic experiments, and liver, spleen, kidney, and cornea were examined. The analogues caused generalized cellular lesions which had the same histochemical and cytological characteristics and the same distribution as the lesions produced by tilorone. The results show that the ability to induce mucopolysaccharidosis is not a unique property of tilorone; this drug side effect should be taken into account when developing new drugs with molecular structures resembling that of tilorone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fluorenes / toxicity*
  • Lipidoses / chemically induced*
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses / chemically induced*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tilorone / analogs & derivatives
  • Tilorone / toxicity*


  • Fluorenes
  • Tilorone