The effect of oral exposure to the n-butylester of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid on the immune response in mice

Int J Immunopharmacol. 1986;8(1):93-9. doi: 10.1016/0192-0561(86)90077-9.


Six week old female BDF1 mice were administered the n-butylester of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) by gastric intubation at dosages ranging from 0 to 200 mg/kg (2,4-D content) in the acute studies and 0 to 100 mg/kg in the subacute studies. Following acute exposure, the antibody production against sheep red blood cells and the induction of DNA synthesis with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide, a B-lymphocyte mitogen, were enhanced. Comparable T-lymphocyte mitogen responses induced by concanavalin A, a T-lymphocyte mitogen, were not affected by 2,4-D, though 2,4-D did exhibit a weak, non-specific, dose-related mitogenic effect. Subacute exposure to the 2,4-D ester did not alter antibody production. B-lymphocyte mitogen responses were enhanced, though a linear dose-response relationship was not observed. Histopathological alterations in the brain and spinal cord and clinical symptoms of toxicity were observed in the 200 mg/kg treatment group (acute exposure). Similar effects were not seen in the subacute study. The immunostimulatory effects of 2,4-D were observed at relatively high exposures. It is unlikely that these immune alterations will have any major toxicological significance in agricultural communities utilizing 2,4-D herbicides, though further studies with commercial grade formulations which may contain other compounds in addition to the pure 2,4-D esters must be evaluated at similar levels of exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / administration & dosage
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / adverse effects
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / immunology
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects*
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • Interleukin-2 / administration & dosage
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Sheep / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Interleukin-2
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid
  • DNA
  • 2,4-D n-butyl ester