Journal Article

Mode of Action and Pharmacokinetic Studies of 2-Butoxyethanol in the Mouse with an Emphasis on Forestomach Dosimetry

Torka S. Poet, Jolen J. Soelberg, Karl K. Weitz, Terryl J. Mast, Rodney A. Miller, Brian D. Thrall and Richard A. Corley

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 71, issue 2, pages 176-189
Published in print February 2003 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online February 2003 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Mode of Action and Pharmacokinetic Studies of 2-Butoxyethanol in the Mouse with an Emphasis on Forestomach Dosimetry

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Chronic inhalation studies with 2-butoxyethanol (BE) conducted by the National Toxicology Program identified the forestomach and liver of B6C3F1 mice as target organs for tumorigenicity (NTP, 2000). Previous studies have shown that the liver tumors likely resulted from chronic hemolysis-induced oxidative stress. For the forestomach lesions seen in mice, chronic contact irritation (cytotoxicity) and regenerative hyperplasia are hypothesized to result in forestomach tumor development. To test this hypothesis, several experiments were conducted to address the sensitivity of the mouse forestomach to BE administered by various routes. Oral administration of undiluted BE was shown to cause irritation and a compensatory proliferative response in the mouse forestomach, confirming that direct contact between the forestomach and BE, which can occur via grooming of BE condensed on the fur during inhalation exposures, can cause irritation. However, only small amounts of BE (<10 mg/kg) were detected on the fur of mice at the end of 6-h, whole-body or nose-only inhalation exposures to the highest concentration used in the NTP chronic inhalation studies (250 ppm). Furthermore, no significant differences were detected in the end-exposure blood concentrations of BE and butoxyacetic acid (BAA) between these types of exposures. In addition, parenteral administration of BE (ip and sc injection) also resulted in forestomach lesions, indicating that there may be sources other than grooming for BE- or BAA-induced forestomach irritation. In the pharmacokinetic study, BE and, to a lesser extent, BAA was eliminated more slowly from the forestomach tissue of mice than from blood or other tissues, following either oral gavage or ip injection. The forestomach was the only tissue with detectable levels of BE at 24 h. BE and BAA were both excreted in the saliva and were present in stomach contents for a prolonged period of time following these routes of exposure, which may further contribute to forestomach tissue dosimetry. Thus, there appear to be multiple mechanisms behind the increased levels of BE and BAA in the forestomach tissue of mice, which together can contribute to a prolonged contact irritation, compensatory hyperplasia, and tumorigenicity in mice. The relevance of these effects in humans, who lack a forestomach, is questionable.

Keywords: glycol ethers; 2-butoxyethanol; butoxyacetic acid; forestomach, dosimetry

Journal Article.  9168 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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