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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1988;534:521-30.

Rat liver foci and in vitro assays to detect initiating and promoting effects of chlorinated ethanes and ethylenes.

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Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. 20460.


Nine chlorinated aliphatics (CAs) were examined in a rat liver foci assay for tumor initiating and promoting activities. In this model, young adult male Osborne Mendel rats were first subjected to a partial hepatectomy, the test chemical was then administered at the maximum tolerated dose in the initiation or promotion phase in conjunction with diethylnitrosamine (DEN; 30 mg/kg b.w.) or phenobarbital (PB; 0.05 percent, w/w, in the diet), and gamma glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) was used as a putative preneoplastic indicator. When administered in the promotion protocol after initiation with DEN, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane (1,1,2-TCE), 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane (1,1,2,2-TTCE), tetrachloroethylene (TTCY), and hexachloroethane induced significant increases in GGT+-foci above control levels. 1,1,2,2-TTCE, TTCY, and 1,1,2-TCE also induced significant increases in GGT+-foci when administered in the promotion protocol without DEN initiation. Two variants of GGT+-foci were observed: the classical type associated with PB promotion, and the other, which was more diffuse, less intensely stained, resembling foci undergoing redifferentiation and associated with CAs. A number of CAs were also genotoxic in short-term in vitro tests. Taken together, the studies suggest that CAs may be complete carcinogens in vivo with weak initiating activity and stronger promoting activity.

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