[Ocular lesions induced by saccharin and its pollutants in the rat fetus]

J Fr Ophtalmol. 1984;7(5):399-410.
[Article in French]


The authors analyze and compare the teratogenic effects produced on the embryo eyes of rats by Maumee saccharin, by non purified Remsem saccharin and several pollutants. The study has been made on 2708 embryos of rats whose mothers have received per os several pollutants at several rates; 16 diets have been studied. The histological lesions are described: the cataract, the retinal coloboma, the major microphthalmos, the anophthalmos, the presence of aberrant nervous fibers, the anarchic globes. The authors describe the retinal eversion phenomenon in the retinal coloboma as well as its repercussion on the ocular malformations (retinal dysplasia and colobomatous cyst of the orbit). The presence of aberrant nervous fibers inside the retinal coloboma could explain the cases of double papilla, which were observed in clinic. The major microphthalmia are frequent. The serious anophthalmia are explained by an early perturbation of the embryogenesis. The anarchic globes could be interpreted as a form of congenital cystic eye. Under the different pollutants of the saccharin, four of them are more toxic: it is the ortho-sulfobenzoic acid, the para-sulfobenzoic acid, the para-sulfamolybenzoic acid, the para-toluenesulfonamide which communicate the Remsen saccharin its teratogenic effect. On the other hand, the ortho-toluene sulfonamide is without any teratogenic effect. The authors conclude on the necessity of a large purity of the commercial saccharin.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzoates / toxicity*
  • Cataract / chemically induced
  • Coloboma / chemically induced
  • Drug Contamination
  • Eye / drug effects
  • Eye Abnormalities*
  • Female
  • Microphthalmos / chemically induced
  • Optic Nerve / abnormalities
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retina / abnormalities
  • Saccharin / toxicity*
  • Teratogens*
  • Tosyl Compounds / toxicity*


  • Benzoates
  • Teratogens
  • Tosyl Compounds
  • Saccharin