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Toxicol Pathol. 1999 May-Jun;27(3):287-94.

Disseminated thrombosis and bone infarction in female rats following inhalation exposure to 2-butoxyethanol.

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


Groups of 10 male and 10 female F344/N rats were exposed to 0, 31, 62.5, 125, 250, and 500 ppm of 2-butoxyethanol (BE) by inhalation, 6 hr/day, 5 days/wk, for 13 wk. Four moribund female rats from the 500 ppm group were sacrificed during the first 4 days of exposure, and 1 moribund female from the same group was sacrificed during week 5. Dark irregular mottling and/or loss of the distal tail were noted in sacrificed moribund rats. Similar gross lesions were noted in the terminally sacrificed females exposed to 500 ppm BE. Histologic changes noted in the day 4 sacrificed moribund rats included disseminated thrombosis involving the coccygeal vertebrae, cardiac atrium, lungs, liver, pulp of the incisor teeth, and the submucosa of the anterior section of the nasal cavity. Alterations noted in coccygeal vertebrae from the 500 ppm sacrificed moribund rats included ischemic necrosis and/or degeneration of bone marrow cells, bone-lining cells, osteocytes (within cortical and trabecular bone), and chondrocytes (both articular and growth plate), changes that are consistent with an infarction process. The moribund female rat that was sacrificed during week 5 and those female rats treated with 500 ppm and sacrificed following 13 wk of treatment lacked thrombi, but they had coccygeal vertebral changes consistent with prior infarction and transient or complete bone growth arrest. No bone lesions or thrombi were noted in the male rats treated with the same doses of BE. In conclusion, exposure to 500 ppm BE vapors caused acute disseminated thrombosis and bone infarction in female rats. Possible pathogenic mechanisms are discussed.

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