Developmental toxicity and psychotoxicity of FD and C red dye No. 40 (allura red AC) in rats

Toxicology. 1983;28(3):207-17. doi: 10.1016/0300-483x(83)90118-x.


Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were fed diets containing FD and C red dye No. 40 for 2 weeks and were then bred. The diets were continued for the females throughout gestation and lactation and were provided continuously to their offspring thereafter. The treatment groups were: FD and C red dye No. 40 as 0.0, 2.5, 5.0 or 10.0% of the diet, and a positive control group treated with the toxin hydroxyurea on days 2-10 of life with 50 mg/kg/day given s.c. as a positive control group. Parental animals were evaluated for weight and food consumption, and females for reproductive success. The offspring were assessed on a series of tests using the Cincinnati Psychoteratogenicity Screening Test Battery. Additional measures were weight, food consumption, physical landmarks of development, and brain weight. Red-40 significantly reduced reproductive success, parental and offspring weight, brain weight, survival, and female vaginal patency development. Behaviorally, R40 produced substantially decreased running wheel activity, and slightly increased postweaning open-field rearing activity. Overall, R40 produced evidence of both physical and behavioral toxicity in developing rats at doses of up to 10% of the diet.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azo Compounds / toxicity*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fetus / drug effects*
  • Food Coloring Agents / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Azo Compounds
  • Food Coloring Agents
  • Allura Red AC Dye