Acrylamide is an important chemical with widespread industrial and other uses in addition to generalized population exposure from certain cooked foods. Previous rat studies to assess the carcinogenic potential of acrylamide have been carried out exclusively in the Fischer 344 rat with identification of a number of tumors amongst which mesotheliomas of the tunica vaginalis is an important tumor endpoint in the classification of acrylamide as a 'probably human carcinogen. In a rat carcinogenicity study to determine the human relevance of mesotheliomas Wistar Han rats were exposed to 0, 0.5, 1.5, or 3.0mg acrylamide/kg body weight/day in drinking water starting at gestation day 6. At the end of two years, mammary gland fibroadenomas in females and thyroid follicular cell tumors in both sexes were the only tumors increased in acrylamide treated rats. These tumor endpoints have rat-specific modes of action suggesting less likelihood of human cancer risk than previously estimated. This study demonstrates that tunica vaginalis mesotheliomas are strain specific and not likely of genotoxic origin.
Keywords: Carcinogenicity; In utero exposure; Mammary fibroadenomas; Myopathy; Neuropathy; Thyroid follicular cell tumors.
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