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Toxicology. 2004 Nov 1;204(1):1-11.

Evaluation of the potential immunotoxicity of 3-monochloro-1,2-propanediol in Balb/c mice. I. Effect on antibody forming cell, mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation, splenic subset, and natural killer cell activity.

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Division of Immunotoxicology, National Institute of Toxicological Korea Food and Drug Administration, 122-704 Seoul, South Korea.


3-Monochloro-1,2-propanediol (MCPD) is a well-known by-product of acid-hydrolyzed soy sauce during its manufacturing process. MCPD has been reported genotoxic in vitro, and reproductive toxicity and carcinogenicity in rats. However, no previous studies have investigated MCPD-induced alterations in the immune system. In the present study, MCPD was administered by gavage for 14 days at 0, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg per day to female Balb/c mice. The antibody-mediated immune response to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) was assessed using the antibody-forming cell (AFC) assay, and splenic cell phenotypes were quantified by flow cytometry. Hematological and histopathological changes were assessed. Mitogen-stimulated spleen lymphocyte proliferation and natural killer (NK) cell activity were evaluated. The T-lymphocyte blastogenesis by concanavalin A (Con A) or anti-CD3 and B-lymphocyte blastogenesis by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were not significantly changed. There were no significant changes in the hematological and histopathological findings of MCPD-treated mice. However, the significant decrease in thymus weight was observed in 100 mg dose group, even though that did not change body weight gain. The cellularities of spleen and thymus were significantly reduced in high-dose group. Exposure to high dose of MCPD decreased the AFC response to SRBC in mice. There was a significant decrease in NK cell activity of mice treated with high dose of MCPD. These results indicate that MCPD could modulate the immune function in Balb/c mice.

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