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Toxicol Lett. 2003 Jan 13;136(3):205-16.

Investigating the onset of autoimmunity in A.SW mice following treatment with 'toxic oils'.

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Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, 220 Nash Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


In 1981, over 20,000 people were struck with toxic oil syndrome (TOS). H-2s strains of mice have been shown to develop symptoms of TOS after exposure to toxic oil. We examined the effects of toxic oil on A.SW mice, which are susceptible to chemically-induced autoimmunity, but do not spontaneously develop autoimmune disease. Mice were treated with three types of toxic oil: CO756 (case oil from Spain), RSD99 (rapeseed oil with no 3-(N-phenylamino)-1-2-propanediol (PAP) derivatives) and RSA99 (rapeseed oil supplemented with PAP derivatives). Mercuric chloride treated mice were used as a positive control. After toxic oil treatment, there were no consistent differences in body weight or organ weight (liver, kidney, thymus and spleen) as a percent of body weight at any of these timepoints: 2.5, 5 or 10 weeks. We also found that treatment with toxic oil did not induce autoantibody formation or lead to increased serum levels of IgG1, IgG2a or IgE at these timepoints. Conversely, at all timepoints, there were significant increases in organ weight as a percent of body weight in the mercury treated mice. Additionally, mercuric chloride treated mice had elevated serum levels of IgG1, IgG2a and IgE and developed anti-nuclear and anti-collagen antibodies.

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