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Repeated dose toxicity: dermal

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short-term repeated dose toxicity: dermal
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
Study period:
2012-02-24 to 2013-01-30
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: GLP guideline study to reproduction/developmental screening guideline via dermal route which is sufficiently similar to subacute repeat dermal study.

Data source

Reference Type:
study report
Report date:

Materials and methods

Test guideline
according to guideline
other: OECD Guideline 421 (Reproduction / Developmental Toxicity Screening Test)
GLP compliance:
yes (incl. QA statement)
Limit test:

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
Ethyl 2,3-epoxy-3-phenylbutyrate
EC Number:
EC Name:
Ethyl 2,3-epoxy-3-phenylbutyrate
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
ethyl 3-methyl-3-phenyloxirane-2-carboxylate
Details on test material:
- Name of test material: Ethyl-3-methyl-3-phenyloxirane-2-carboxylate
- Physical state: clear colourless liquid
- Analytical purity: 99.5 %
- Lot/batch No: AS00075464
- Expiration date of the lot/batch: 10 May 2013
- Storage condition of test material: room temperature in the dark (neat test item used under safety lighting)

Test animals

Details on test animals or test system and environmental conditions:
- Source: Harlan Laboratories U.K. Ltd., Blackthorn, Bicester, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
- Age at study initiation: Approximately 11 weeks old
- Weight at study initiation: Males 282 g to 337 g; females 176 g to 224 g
- Housing: Initially, all animals were housed in groups of five in solid floor polypropylene cages with stainless steel mesh lids and softwood flake bedding. During the pairing phase, the animals were transferred to polypropylene grid floor cages suspended over trays lined with absorbent paper on a one male: one female basis. Following evidence of successful mating, the males were returned to their original cages. Mated females were housed individually during gestation and lactation, in solid floor polypropylene cages with stainless steel mesh lids and softwood flakes.
- Diet (e.g. ad libitum): A pelleted diet (Rodent 2018C Teklad Global Certified Diet, Harlan Laboratories U.K. Ltd., Oxon, UK) was available ad libitum.
- Water (e.g. ad libitum): Mains drinking water was supplied from polycarbonate bottles attached to the cage ad libitum.
- Acclimation period: The animals were acclimatised for thirteen days during which time their health status was assessed. During this acclimatisation period preparation of the test site (i.e. clipping) and bandage training for five consecutive days was performed. On the initial day of bandage training, the bandages were only applied for approximately 3 hours, for the remaining days bandage training matched the exposure period applied when animals were being treated.

- Temperature: 22 ºC ± 3 ºC
- Humidity: 50 % ± 20 % Relative humidity exceeded this target range on two transient occasions (achieved range 45-72 %RH) but these deviations were considered to have had no impact on the scientific validity or integrity of the study.
- Air changes: ≥ 15 per hour
- Photoperiod: 12 hrs dark / 12 hrs light

Administration / exposure

other: 2% Carboxymethylcellulose/1% Tween 80
Details on exposure:
- Area of exposure: the dorso-lumbar region
- % coverage: approximately 10% of the total body surface area
- Type of wrap if used: The site of application was semioccluded
using a piece of porous gauze covered with a self-adherent bandage.

- Washing: The test item formulation removed from the dosing test site and the exposed area was decontaminated with 0.9% saline.
- Time after start of exposure: Following six hours of exposure.

- Amount(s) applied (volume or weight with unit): The dose volume employed was 3 ml/kg
- Concentration (if solution): The volume of test and control item administered to each animal was based on the most
recent scheduled body weight and was adjusted at regular intervals to ensure the dosage for each dosage group was maintained; 0, 33.33, 100, 333.33 mg/mL.
- Constant volume or concentration used: yes
- For solids, paste formed: Not applicable

- Justification for use and choice of vehicle (if other than water):
- Amount(s) applied (volume or weight with unit): The dose volume employed was 3 ml/kg
- Concentration (if solution): No data

Analytical verification of doses or concentrations:
Details on analytical verification of doses or concentrations:
The stability and homogeneity of the test item formulations were determined by Harlan Laboratories Ltd, Shardlow, UK, Analytical Services as part of this study. Results show the formulations to be stable for at least 18 days. Formulations were therefore prepared fortnightly and stored at approximately 4 ºC in the dark.
Duration of treatment / exposure:
The test item formulation was applied daily to the exposed region by a plastic syringe for 51 consecutive days for males, and up to Day 19 of gestation for females.
Frequency of treatment:
Doses / concentrationsopen allclose all
Doses / Concentrations:
100 mg/kg bw/day
nominal per unit body weight
Doses / Concentrations:
300 mg/kg bw/day
nominal per unit body weight
Doses / Concentrations:
1000 mg/kg bw/day
nominal per unit body weight
No. of animals per sex per dose:
10 animals per sex per dose
Control animals:
yes, concurrent vehicle
Details on study design:
- Groups of 10 male and 10 female animals were dosed according to dose group for 14 days prior to pairing.
- On Day 15, following decontamination of the exposure site, animals were paired on a 1 male: 1 female basis within each dose group for a maximum of fourteen days.
- Animals were returned to their original holding cages during the exposure period.
- Following evidence of mating (designated as Day 0 post coitum) the males were returned to their original cages and females were transferred to individual cages.
- Treatment was continued for males until study termination. Pregnant females were treated up to and including Day 19 of gestation.
- Pregnant females were allowed to give birth and maintain their offspring until Day 5 post partum. Litter size, offspring weight and sex, surface righting and clinical signs were also recorded during this period.
- The male dose groups were killed and examined macroscopically on Day 52.
- The termination of the males was delayed (and dosing extended) to allow for the results of mating for the majority of the females to be known prior to male necropsy.


Observations and examinations performed and frequency:
All animals were examined for overt signs of toxicity, ill-health and behavioural change immediately before each application, one hour after application and after removal of the porous gauze and decontamination of the test site. All observations were recorded.

Prior to each application of the test item, the dose test site was examined for any signs of irritation. Any irritation observed was scored according to the scheme described by Draize J H (1959).

- Time schedule for examinations: Individual body weights were recorded on Day 1 (prior to dosing) and then weekly for males until termination and weekly for females until mating was evident. Body weights were then recorded for females on Days 0, 7, 14 and 20 post coitum, and on Days 1 and 4 post partum.

During the pre-pairing period, weekly food consumption was recorded for each cage of adults until pairing. This was continued for males after the mating phase. For females showing evidence of mating, food consumption was recorded for the periods covering post coitum Days 0-7, 7-14 and 14-20. For females with live litters, food consumption was recorded during the lactation period (Days 1-4).

Weekly food efficiency (body weight gain/food intake) was calculated retrospectively for males and for females during the pre-pairing phase. Due to offspring growth and milk production for lactation, food efficiency for females could not be accurately calculated for females during gestation and lactation.

- Time schedule for examinations: Water intake was observed daily by visual inspection of water bottles for any overt changes.
- Intergroup differences did not indicate any need for more formal gravimetric measurements.
Sacrifice and pathology:
Adult males were killed by intravenous overdose of a suitable barbiturate agent followed by exsanguination on Day 52. Adult females were killed by intravenous overdose of a suitable barbiturate agent followed by exsanguination on Day 5 post partum. Surviving offspring were terminated via intracardiac overdose of sodium pentobarbitone. Any females which failed to achieve pregnancy or produce a litter were killed on or after Day 25 post coitum.

For all females, the uterus was examined for signs of implantation and the number of uterine implantations in each horn was recorded. This procedure was enhanced; as necessary, by staining the uteri with a 0.5 % ammonium polysulphide solution (Salewski 1964). For pregnant females the number of corpora lutea in the ovaries was also recorded.

All adult animals and offspring, including those dying during the study, were subjected to a full external and internal examination, and any macroscopic abnormalities were recorded.

The epididymides and testes were removed from terminal kill adult males dissected free from fat and weighed before fixation.

Samples of the following tissues were preserved from all animals from each dose group, in buffered 10 % formalin: Coagulating gland (males only), prostate (males only), seminal vesicles (males only), gross lesions, ovaries (females only), treated/untreated skin, mammary gland (females only), uterus/cervix (females only), pituitary, Vagina (females only).

Samples of the following tissues were preserved in Bouin’s fluid then transferred to 70 % Industrial Methylated Spirits (IMS) approximately 48 hrs later: Testes (males only), epididymides (males only).

The tissues from control and 1000 mg/kg bw/day dose group animals and any animals which failed to mate or did not achieve a pregnancy were prepared as paraffin blocks, sectioned at a nominal thickness of 5 μm and stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin for subsequent microscopic examination. In addition, sections of testes and epididymides from all control and 1000 mg/kg bw/day males were also stained with Periodic Acid-Schiff (PAS) stain and examined. Detailed qualitative examination of the testes was performed taking into account the tubular stages of spermatogenic cycle.
Where considered appropriate, quantitative data was subjected to statistical analysis to detect the significance of intergroup differences from control; statistical significance was achieved at a level of p<0.05. Statistical analysis was performed on the following parameters:
Body Weight, Body Weight Change, Food Consumption during gestation and lactation,
Pre-Coital Interval, Gestation Length, Litter Size, Litter Weight, Sex Ratio, Corpora Lutea, Implantation Sites, Implantation Losses, Viability Indices, Offspring Body Weight, Offspring Body Weight Change, Offspring Surface Righting, Absolute Organ Weights, Body Weight-Relative Organ Weights.
Data were analysed using the decision tree from the Provantis Tables and Statistics Module as detailed below:
Where appropriate, data transformations were performed using the most suitable method

The homogeneity of variance from mean values was analysed using Bartlett's test. Intergroup variance were assessed using suitable ANOVA, or if required, ANCOVA with appropriate covariates. Any transformed data were analysed to find the lowest treatment level that showed a significant effect, using the Williams Test for parametric data or the Shirley Test for non-parametric data. If no dose response was found, but the data shows non-homogeneity of means, the data were analysed by a stepwise Dunnett's (parametric) or Steel (non-parametric) test to determine significant difference from the control group. Where the data were unsuitable for these analyses, pair-wise tests was performed using the Student t-test (parametric) or the Mann-Whitney U test (nonparametric). Data not analysed by the Provantis data capture system were assessed separately using the SPSS statistical package. Initially, the homogeneity of the data was assessed using Levene's test.

Results and discussion

Results of examinations

Clinical signs:
no effects observed
Dermal irritation:
no effects observed
no mortality observed
Body weight and weight changes:
no effects observed
Food consumption and compound intake (if feeding study):
no effects observed
Food efficiency:
no effects observed
Water consumption and compound intake (if drinking water study):
no effects observed
Ophthalmological findings:
not examined
Haematological findings:
not examined
Clinical biochemistry findings:
not examined
Urinalysis findings:
not examined
Behaviour (functional findings):
not examined
Organ weight findings including organ / body weight ratios:
no effects observed
Gross pathological findings:
no effects observed
Histopathological findings: non-neoplastic:
no effects observed
Histopathological findings: neoplastic:
not examined
Details on results:
There were no unscheduled deaths on the study.

Clinical signs observed on the study were minimal and were unrelated to treatment.

Body weight gain was unaffected by treatment for both sexes throughout the study, which included for females, gestation and lactation phases, at 100, 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day.
At 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day higher bodyweight gain for males, attained statistical significance compared to control during Days 15 to 22 but there was no dosage relationship. These differences were considered to reflect normal biological variation and were of no toxicological significance.

Food consumption and food conversion efficiency was considered to have been unaffected by treatment for both sexes throughout the study, which included for females, gestation and lactation phases, at 100, 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day. At 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day food intake was higher than control during the final week of gestation. Although statistical significance was reached at the highest dosage, these differences were considered to reflect normal biological variation rather than an effect of treatment. Additionally food consumption during lactation was lower than control at all dosages during lactation; differences failed to attain statistical significance and there was no dosage relationship, The lower food consumption was considered to reflect particularly high food intake for two control females and was unrelated to treatment.

There was no adverse effect of treatment on mating performance at 100, 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day.
It was noted that some treated animals show a longer pre-coital interval than their control counterparts; the incidence and distribution of these animals did not indicate any dosage relationship and this finding was considered to be incidental and unrelated to treatment.
For the majority of animals observed evidence of mating was good; one control female (No. 18) and one at 100 mg/kg day (No. 36) showed poor evidence of mating but only the control animal failed to achieve pregnancy.

There was no adverse effect of treatment on fertility at 100, 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day. At both 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day two females failed to achieve pregnancy, however three of the control females also failed to achieve pregnancy. This slightly lower than anticipated pregnancy rate may reflect the daily separation of the males and females during the two week pairing period as part of dermal dose administration procedure.

No treatment-related effects were detected in the length of gestation between control and treated groups, with all littering females showing a gestation length between 22½ and 24 days.

Adult macroscopic necropsy findings were restricted to small and flaccid testes and small epididymides for one male at 1000 mg/kg bw/day. This animal failed to induce pregnancy in its female partner. In isolation this finding was considered to be incidental and unrelated to treatment.

Mean absolute and body weight relative testis and epididymis organ weights were unaffected by treatment at 100, 300 and 1000 mg/kg bw/day.

Examination of the skin (test site) and reproductive organs for both sexes did not indicate any adverse effect of treatment.

Effect levels

Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
> 1 000 mg/kg bw/day
Based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect level:
other: overall effects

Target system / organ toxicity

Critical effects observed:
not specified

Any other information on results incl. tables

Dermal administration of Ethyl-3-methyl-3-phenyloxirane-2-carboxylate at dosages up to 1000 mg/kg bw/day was well tolerated by the adult animals with no adverse effects on survival, clinical condition, body weight gain, food consumption or macroscopic necropsy findings and subsequent microscopic evaluation. Within the context of this study, the No Observed Effect Level (NOEL) for adult toxicity was 1000 mg/kg bw/day.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

A study was conducted to OECD 421 (reproduction/development screening test), via the dermal route, which exposed rats to strawberry pure at doses up to at doses up to 1000 mg/kg bw/d. Male rats were exposed for 52 days and female rats for approx. 33 days including a 14 day pregnancy period. The adult NOAEL was found to be 1000 mg/kg bw/d.