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J Oral Pathol Med. 2004 Aug;33(7):424-9.

Histopathologic changes in dental and oral soft tissues in 2-butoxyethanol-induced hemolysis and thrombosis in rats*.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.



2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE; ethylene glycol monobutyl ether) is extensively used as a solvent in surface coatings, such as lacquers, enamels, and varnishes in industrial and household cleaning products. Its major toxicity is manifested in the circulation, as it induces hemolytic anemia and thrombosis in various organs. While 2-BE has been implicated in the induction of anemia in different species, the rat has proven most sensitive, especially the female of this species. The purpose of this study was to document the effects of 2-BE on dentition, the periodontal ligament, the tongue, the salivary glands, and the oral mucosa in male and female Fischer 344 rats.


The experiment included 40 rats divided into five groups. Four groups were exposed to 2, 3, or 4 daily doses of 2-BE, and a fifth group served as control. The rats were killed on days 2, 3, 4, and 29. The teeth and soft oral tissues were prepared for histopathologic observation.


The histopathologic analysis showed that the major effect of 2-BE was exerted on the odontoblasts of the incisors and on molars, with greater effect on the incisors. Foci of damaged muscle cells in the tongue were also observed. The blood vessels were dilated and congested, and a primary thrombosis was seen in the dental pulp.


The results of this study revealed a resemblance between the dental injuries in this rat model and those seen in sickle cell anemia in humans. This 2-BE animal model holds potential to assist in the discovery of preventive measures and/or treatment for dental injuries that occur in human diseases with hemolytic anemia.

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