Carcinogenicity and toxicity of inhaled nitrobenzene in B6C3F1 mice and F344 and CD rats

Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1994 Apr;22(3):328-40. doi: 10.1006/faat.1994.1039.


The potential carcinogenicity and toxicity of inhaled nitrobenzene were evaluated following chronic (2-year) exposure in mice and rats. Male and female B6C3F1 mice were exposed to 0, 5, 25, or 50 ppm nitrobenzene, while male and female F344 rats and male CD rats were exposed to 0, 1, 5, or 25 ppm nitrobenzene. All exposures were for 6 hr/day, 5 days/week excluding holidays, for a total of 505 days over 2 years. Survival was not adversely affected by nitrobenzene exposure, and only mild exposure-related decreases in body weights (< 10% of control) were occasionally noted. Nitrobenzene exposure resulted in increased incidence of neoplasia in male B6C3F1 mice (pulmonary alveolar/bronchiolar and thyroid follicular cell neoplasms), female B6C3F1 mice (mammary gland neoplasms), male F344 rats (hepatocellular and renal neoplasms), female F344 rats (endometrial stromal neoplasms), and male CD rats (hepatocellular neoplasms). In addition, there were marginal increases in the incidence of hepatocellular neoplasia in female B6C3F1 mice and thyroid follicular neoplasia in male F344 rats. Groups of nitrobenzene-exposed mice and rats with increased incidence of renal and thyroid neoplasia also had increased incidences of hyperplasia in these tissues. Toxicity resulting from chronic inhalation of nitrobenzene was manifested by methemoglobinemia, anemia, and adaptive or degenerative changes in the nose, liver, and testis. The results indicate that inhaled nitrobenzene is carcinogenic and toxic in mice and rats, and that the spectrum of these responses in animals is dependent on species, sex, and genetic background.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Blood Cell Count / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carcinogens / administration & dosage
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Nitrobenzenes / administration & dosage
  • Nitrobenzenes / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Species Specificity


  • Carcinogens
  • Hemoglobins
  • Nitrobenzenes
  • nitrobenzene