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Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2013 Oct;98(5):428-35. doi: 10.1002/bdrb.21086. Epub 2013 Dec 9.

Evaluation of hydroxyatrazine in the endocrine disruptor screening and testing program's male and female pubertal protocols.

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Endocrine Toxicology Branch, Toxicity Assessment Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Durham, North Carolina.


Two critical components of the validation of any in vivo screening assay are to demonstrate sensitivity and specificity. Although the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program's Tier 1 Male and Female Pubertal Protocols have been shown to be sensitive assays for the detection of weak endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), there are concerns that the assays lack specificity for EDC effects when a chemical induces systemic toxicity. A lack of specificity, or the ability to correctly identify an inactive or "negative" chemical, would increase the probability of identifying false positives. Here, we orally exposed rats to hydroxyatrazine (OH-ATR), a biotransformation by-product of the chlorotriazine herbicides that produced nephrotoxicity following a 13-week dietary exposure. Based on a previous study in our laboratory, males were dosed with 11.4 to 183.4 mg/kg OH-ATR and females were dosed with 45.75 to 183.4 mg/kg OH-ATR. Following exposure in both sexes, there was a dose-response increase in mean kidney weights and the incidence and severity of kidney lesions. These lesions included the deposition of mineralized renal tubule concretions, hydronephrosis, renal tubule dilatation, and pyelonephritis. However, no differences in body weight, liver weight, or reproductive tissue weights, reproductive or thyroid histology, hormone concentrations or the age of pubertal onset were observed. Therefore, the results demonstrate that the endpoints included in the pubertal assay are useful for nonendocrine (systemic) effects that define an no observable effect level (NOEL) or lowest observable effect level (LOEL) and provide one example where an impact on kidney function does not alter any of the endocrine-specific endpoints of the assay.


hydroxyatrazine; kidney toxicity; puberty

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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