Observations on the chronic toxicities of propylene glycol, ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol mono-ethyl-ether, and diethylene glycol mono-ethyl-ether

Morris, H.J.; Nelson, A.A.; Calvery, H. 0.

Jour Pharmacol And Exp Therap 74(3): 266-273


Accession: 025125811

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Albino rats were fed for 2 yrs. 1% and 2% ethylene glycol in their diet; other groups were fed 1.71% and 3.42% (equimolecular with previous) diethylene glycol, 2.45% and 4.9% (equimolecular with 2 and 4% ethylene glycol) propylene glycol, 1.45% ethylene glycol mono-ethyl-ether and 2.16% diethylene glycol mono-ethyl-ether (the latter two equimolecular with 1% ethylene glycol). A total of 100 exptl. and 40 control litter-mate rats was used. The growth rate and food consumption for the first 55 wks. of the experiment were not significantly different. Rats fed 2% ethylene glycol showed a significantly greater mortality than did the control group. Two outstanding pathological lesions were observed. These were the production of laminated mulberry bladder stones from 0.8 to 1.7 cm. in diam. in 8 male rats given ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol, and testicular enlargement, edema and tubular atrophy in 2/3 of the animals given ethylene glycol mono-ethyl-ether. Detailed microscopic examinations of 50 exptl. and 10 control animals were made. Oxalate concretions were found in the renal tubules of 7 rats, chiefly those on ethylene glycol. Varying degrees of chronic kidney and liver lesions were found in the different groups; the group receiving propylene glycol did not differ significantly from the controls. Chemical analyses of the bladder stones showed that Ca oxalate made up about 80% of the dry weight. This is almost conclusive proof that in the rat the ether linkage of diethylene glycol is broken and the end products so formed are converted to oxalic acid.