Toxicity of the novel animal-derived anticancer agent, VRCTC-310: acute and subchronic studies in beagle dogs

Toxicology. 1995 May 5;99(1-2):31-46. doi: 10.1016/0300-483x(94)02995-7.


Acute and subchronic toxicities of VRCTC-310, a combination product of crotoxin (CT) and cardiotoxin (CD), which has shown antitumor activity in vivo, have been studied in Beagle dogs. Single i.m. doses of 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg resulted in dose-dependent local muscular toxicity consisting of myofiber atrophy, interstitial edema and macrophage infiltration. Also, AST, ALT and LDH levels increased on day 2, returning to normal values on days 6-8. Local lesions were absent after recovery on day 45. At 2.0 mg/kg, signs of neurotoxicity (ataxia) appeared, in addition to vomitus, salivation, hematuria and myotoxicity in tongue and diaphragm on day 8. Local lesions healed with fibrosis at the site of injection on day 45. Administration of fixed (0.025 and 0.05 mg/kg) or escalating (0.025-0.1 mg/kg) daily doses for 30 days also produced local muscular damage, which was absent at day 75. The increases in AST, ALT and LDH serum activities on days 2-4 were independent of dosing schedule and sharply decreased on day 8, despite continuation of treatment. An escalating dose schedule of 0.025-2.0 mg/kg showed local muscle damage at the site of injection on day 31, however, there were no lesions of myotoxicity in the tongue or diaphragm and no clinical signs of neurotoxicity were observed. Animals tolerated the subchronic treatment better than the acute. The resolution of serum enzymes to normal values during treatment may be attributed to a decrease of sensitivity to VRCTC-310-mediated myotoxic effects.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Cobra Cardiotoxin Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Cobra Cardiotoxin Proteins / toxicity*
  • Crotoxin / administration & dosage
  • Crotoxin / toxicity*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscles / drug effects
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cobra Cardiotoxin Proteins
  • Drug Combinations
  • cardiotoxin, crotoxin drug combination
  • Crotoxin