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Toxicol Pathol. 2012 Apr;40(3):448-65. doi: 10.1177/0192623311431946. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Bronchial and bronchiolar fibrosis in rats exposed to 2,3-pentanedione vapors: implications for bronchiolitis obliterans in humans.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Toxicology Program, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


2,3-Pentanedione (PD) is a component of artificial butter flavorings. The use of PD is increasing since diacetyl, a major butter flavorant, was associated with bronchiolitis obliterans (BO) in workers and has been removed from many products. Because the toxicity of inhaled PD is unknown, these studies were conducted to characterize the toxicity of inhaled PD across a range of concentrations in rodents. Male and female Wistar-Han rats and B6C3F1 mice were exposed to 0, 50, 100, or 200 ppm PD 6 h/d, 5 d/wk for up to 2 wk. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was collected after 1, 3, 5, and 10 exposures, and histopathology was evaluated after 12 exposures. MCP-1, MCP-3, CRP, FGF-9, fibrinogen, and OSM were increased 2- to 9-fold in BALF of rats exposed for 5 and 10 days to 200 ppm. In mice, only fibrinogen was increased after 5 exposures to 200 ppm. The epithelium lining the respiratory tract was the site of toxicity in all mice and rats exposed to 200 ppm. Significantly, PD also caused both intraluminal and intramural fibrotic airway lesions in rats. The histopathological and biological changes observed in rats raise concerns that PD inhalation may cause BO in exposed humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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