Validation of an in vivo developmental toxicity screen in the mouse

Teratog Carcinog Mutagen. 1986;6(5):361-74. doi: 10.1002/tcm.1770060503.


A test system for identifying toxicity, including potential teratogenicity has been developed that is based on growth and viability of embryonic, fetal, and postnatal mice (J Toxicol Environ Health 10:541-550, 1982). To test the utility of this assay, a series of 55 compounds was administered to timed-pregnant ICR/SIM mice during organogenesis. The test compounds included known teratogens, known nonteratogens, and equivocal teratogens. They represented a wide variety of classes including pesticides, organic solvents, metals, steroids, nutrients, food additives, antimetabolites, alkylating agents, and pharmaceutical agents. A single dose level, at or near the level producing overt maternal toxicity in preliminary range-finding studies, was administered by gavage on gestation days 8 through 12. Females were allowed to deliver; litter size and weight on the day of birth and 2 days postpartum were recorded, and stillborns were examined. Dams that had not given birth by gestation days 21 or 22 were killed and their uteri were examined. The results confirmed a strong correlation between reported teratogenic activity and embryo/fetal viability, and/or postnatal growth and viability. The results indicate that this test system is an effective, cost-efficient means of prioritizing compounds for more detailed teratogenicity testing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birth Weight / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / chemically induced
  • Fetal Viability / drug effects
  • Litter Size / drug effects
  • Methods
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Pregnancy
  • Teratogens / toxicity*


  • Teratogens