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Toxicol Pathol. 2003 Nov-Dec;31(6):655-64.

Morphology of nasal lesions in F344/N rats following chronic inhalation exposure to naphthalene vapors.

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Pathology Associates, A Division of Charles River Laboratories, West Chester, Ohio 45069, USA.


Naphthalene (CAS No. 91-20-3) administered by inhalation at concentrations of 10, 30, or 60 ppm for 6 hours per day, 5 days per week for 105 weeks caused nonneoplastic and neoplastic effects in nasal respiratory and olfactory regions of male and female F344/N rats. Non-neoplastic nasal effects were characterized by an increase in the incidence and severity of a complex group of lesions, including atypical hyperplasia, atrophy, chronic inflammation, and hyaline degeneration of olfactory epithelium; hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia, hyaline degeneration, and goblet cell hyperplasia of the respiratory epithelium; and hyperplasia and squamous metaplasia of mucosal glands. Neoplastic effects were characterized by the induction of two types of rare primary nasal tumors, olfactory neuroblastomas and respiratory epithelial adenomas. The incidences of olfactory neuroblastomas in males at 0 ppm, 10 ppm, 30 ppm, and 60 ppm were, respectively, 0%, 0%, 8%, and 6%, whereas in females they were 0%, 4%, 6%, and 24%. The incidences of respiratory epithelial adenomas in males at 0 ppm, 10 ppm, 30 ppm, and 60 ppm were, respectively, 0%, 12%, 17%, and 31% and in females 0%, 0%, 8%, and 4%. The olfactory neuroblastomas and respiratory epithelial adenomas were considered carcinogenic effects related to naphthalene exposure based on their relatively high incidence in exposed rats, their absence in concurrent control rats and NTP historical controls, and their rare spontaneous occurrence in rats of any strain.

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