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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2005 Oct;24(10):2519-25.

1,3-dinitrobenzene toxicity in the least shrew, Cryptotis parva.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, A.T Still University of Health Sciences, Kirksville, Missouri 63501, USA.


Shrews are abundant in most areas of toxic chemical contamination and bioaccumulate pollutants at much higher rates than sympatric rodent species. As a part of studies to provide information concerning the toxicity of 1,3-dinitrobenzene (DNB) in least shrews (Cryptotis parva), groups of 10 females and 10 males received DNB at 0 (control), 0.7, 2.9, 11.6, and 46.3 microl/L (equivalent mean daily dosage of 0, 0.26, 1.06, 4.26, and 17.0 mg/kg body wt in each sex) in their diet for 14 d. Leukocytosis present at the 0.26 mg/kg body weight/d dosage established the lowest-observed-adverse effect level (LOAEL). Adrenal enlargement was noted at the 1.06 mg/kg body weight/d level. Splenic enlargement and reductions in hematocrit and hemoglobin values occurred at the 4.26 mg/kg body weight/d treatment. Enlargements in the liver and heart and reductions in brown fat weight, granulocyte numbers, and alanine aminotransferase levels were present at high dose levels. Histopathologic examinations showed Kupffer's cell hemosiderosis and suggested testicular damage at the two highest tested doses but failed to confirm brain lesions. Least shrews do not follow standard scaling estimates for lifespan or metabolic rates. The LOAEL calculated from the standard terrestrial screening benchmark equation was higher than our findings, suggesting that these estimates must be viewed with caution.

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