Effects of 0.5% and 2.0% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in Male CD-1 Mice From a 3-Month Oral Gavage Toxicity Study

Toxicol Pathol. 2021 Jul;49(5):1100-1108. doi: 10.1177/01926233211004873. Epub 2021 May 4.


The tolerability of single daily gavage doses of 0.5% or 2.0% (wt/vol) sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in 11- to 12-week-old male CD-1 mice was evaluated in a study of 3 months in duration. Live-phase, gross necropsy, and histopathologic parameters were evaluated. Mortality of 14% occurred in mice administered formulations containing SLS. Clinical observations in mice administered SLS included abnormal respiration (audible, irregular, and/or labored), swollen abdomen, rough haircoat, hunched appearance, and hypoactivity. Necropsy findings in mice administered SLS consisted of enlarged intestines containing abnormal contents with gas. There were no instances of mechanical gavage-related injury. Histologic evaluation of the respiratory tract revealed injury to the nasal passages and nasopharynx, including, but not limited to, inflammation, exudate, apoptosis/necrosis of epithelium, and atrophy of epithelium or olfactory nerves. Collectively, the data indicated that under the experimental conditions of our 3-month study in male CD-1 mice, once-daily gavage administration of vehicle formulations containing SLS at 0.5% or 2.0% resulted in nasal injury and 14% mortality supportive of gastroesophageal reflux. Sponsors utilizing formulations containing SLS in toxicity studies in CD-1 mice should exclude gastroesophageal reflux as a confounding factor in studies with morbidity or mortality associated with respiratory distress or evidence of aerophagia.

Keywords: SDS; mice; nasal cavity; oral gavage; reflux; sodium lauryl sulfate; tolerability.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Carcinogenicity Tests*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate / toxicity


  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate