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Toxicology. 1988 Feb;48(2):209-24.

Chronic toxicity of 3,4,3',4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl in the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus).

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  • 1Radiobiological Institute TNO, Rijswijk, The Netherlands.


Cotton top marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) were orally dosed with 3, 1, 0.1 or 0 mg 3,4,3',4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (TCB)/kg body weight twice per week for 18-23 weeks. Severe toxicity occurred in the highest dose group. Clinical signs of toxicity were a rapid decrease in body weight, alopecia, abnormal nail growth, nodular enlargement of the nipple area and scaly skin. Haematological analysis of peripheral blood revealed mild leukocytosis and anemia. Biochemical alterations observed were elevated triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels. Histopathology revealed dose dependent changes in a variety of tissues. Squamous metaplasia was found in skin and adnexa as well as in salivary glands. In the stomach, parietal cells were decreased and mucus producing cells were increased. The duodenal mucosa was hyperplastic. Ovaries showed an absence of corpora lutea. In the thyroid follicular cell hyperplasia and hypertrophy were noted. Toxicity was less severe in marmoset monkeys dosed with 1 mg TCB/kg, while minor toxic effects were observed in the animals dosed with 0.1 mg TCB/kg. The marmoset monkey appears to be less sensitive to the toxic action of TCB than the rhesus monkey. The pattern of histological and biochemical changes induced by TCB in marmoset monkeys is comparable to that described in humans and in other primate species exposed to PCBs. The marmoset monkey model may be valuable for investigations on human-related toxicity of PCBs.

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