Fertility and developmental toxicity studies of diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (DGBE) in rats

Krystyna Sitarek 1, 2  ,  
Piotr Lutz 1,  
Department of Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Department of Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, św. Teresy 8, 91-348, Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2012;25(4):404–417
Objectives The solvent, dimethylene glycol monobutyl ether (DGBE), is a component of latex paints, inks; it is used as a degreasing agent, industrial detergent. The aim of the study was evaluating the effects of DGBE administered by gavage on the estrous cycle and given with drinking water on fertility in rats and early development of their progeny. Materials and Methods Female rats were exposed to DGBE by gavage during 8 weeks at 250, 500 or 1000 mg/kg/day. Vaginal smears were collected during the exposure and 4 weeks after its cessation. Fertility studies were performed in male and female animals exposed to in drinking water. Males were exposed for 10 weeks and then mated with females exposed before mating, during pregnancy and lactation. Young animals were observed during 3 weeks after birth. Results DGBE does not cause disturbances of the menstrual cycle in females. Parameters used to assess the general toxicity indicate that males receiving DGBE in drinking water are more sensitive to this compound than females: significantly greater, dose-dependent relative spleen weight, significant decrease in hematological parameters from 8% to 15% depending on the dose, were observed. Clinical chemistry parameters (HDL-cholesterol, BUN) and some markers of oxidative stress differ between the exposed groups and the control one, but without adverse health effect. The microscopic examination of internal organs did not reveal morphological changes in male and female rats. Conclusion The results of our study on the impact of exposure to DGBE on fertility in rats indicate that the substance administered for 9–10 weeks to females and males at a limit dose of 1000 mg/kg did not impair fertility or viability of their offspring during the first three weeks of life.