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Developmental toxicity / teratogenicity

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developmental toxicity
Type of information:
migrated information: read-across from supporting substance (structural analogue or surrogate)
Adequacy of study:
weight of evidence
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Acceptable, well-documented publication and study report which meets basic scientific principles. Reliability adopted from OECD SIDS Draft. For read-across justification see Section 13.

Data source

Reference Type:
Teratology and multigeneration reproduction studies with maleic anhydride in rats
Short, R. D., Johannsen, F. R., Levinskas, G. J., Rodwell, D. E., and Schardein, J. L.
Bibliographic source:
Fundam. Appl. Toxicol. 7(3): 359-366

Materials and methods

Test guideline
equivalent or similar to
OECD Guideline 414 (Prenatal Developmental Toxicity Study)
(administered volume in the control and high dose group is higher (1.4 ml/100 g bw) than the advised maximum volume in the guideline (0.4 ml/100 g bw))
GLP compliance:

Test material

Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): Maleic anhydride
- Molecular formula (if other than submission substance): C4 H2 O3
- Molecular weight (if other than submission substance): 98.06
- Smiles notation (if other than submission substance): O=C1OC(=O)C=C1
- InChl (if other than submission substance): 1S/C4H2O3/c5-3-1-2-4(6)7-3/h1-2H
- Structural formula attached as image file (if other than submission substance): see Fig. “108-31-6 structure.png”

- Analytical purity: > 99%

Test animals

other: Charles River CD rats
Details on test animals and environmental conditions:
- Age at study initiation: 12 weeks
- Housing: individually housed, except during mating
- Diet: ad libitum
- Water: ad libitum
- Acclimation period: 10 days

Administration / exposure

Route of administration:
oral: gavage
corn oil
Details on exposure:
- Concentration in vehicle: 1% (w/v)
- Amount of vehicle (if gavage): 0.3-1.4 ml/100g bw
Details on mating procedure:
- Impregnation procedure: cohoused
- If cohoused:
- M/F ratio per cage: 1/1
- Proof of pregnancy: vaginal plug in vaginal smear referred to as day 0 of pregnancy
- Any other deviations from standard protocol:
Duration of treatment / exposure:
from gestation day 6 through day 15
Frequency of treatment:
Duration of test:
day 20 of gestation
No. of animals per sex per dose:
Control animals:
yes, concurrent vehicle


Maternal examinations:

- Time schedule for examinations: gestation days 0, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 20

Ovaries and uterine content:
The ovaries and uterine content was examined after termination: Yes
Examinations included:
- Number of corpora lutea: Yes
- Number of implantations: Yes
- Number of early resorptions: Yes
- Number of late resorptions: Yes
- Other: foetal swellings, number of viable and non-viable foetuses
Fetal examinations:
- External examinations: Yes: [all per litter]
- Soft tissue examinations: Yes: [1/3 per litter ]
- Skeletal examinations: Yes: [2/3 per litter ]
All statistical analyses compared the treatment groups with the control group, with the level of significance at p<0.05. Male to female foetal sex ratio and number of litters with anomalies were compared using the Chi-square test criterion with Yates correction for 2 x 2 contingency tables and/or Fisher's exact probability test as described by Siegel to Judge significance of differences. The proportion of late resorbed foetuses and postimplantation losses were compared by the Mann-Whitney U-test as described by Siegel and Weil to judge significance of differences. Mean number of corpora lutes, total implantations and viable foetuses were compared by analysis of variance (one-way classification), Bartlett's test for homogeneity of variances and the appropriate t-test (for equal or unequal variances) as described by Steel and Torrie using Dunnett's multiple comparison table to judge significance of differences. Fetal body weights were compared by analysis of variance (hierarchal classification) and t-test as described by Steel and Torri using Dunnett's multiple comparison tables to judge significance of differences.

Results and discussion

Results: maternal animals

Maternal developmental toxicity

Details on maternal toxic effects:
Maternal toxic effects:no effects

Details on maternal toxic effects:
Respiratory involvement and red nasal discharge were observed in all dosage groups. The incidence of these was higher in the treated groups, though not in a dose-related pattern. No treatment-related deaths (one rat in each dosage group died during the first part of treatment; the cause of death was not determined) nor abnormal behaviour was observed in any of the maleic anhydride treated groups. Mean body weight gain was reduced in the 30 mg/kg/day dosage group for the first three days of treatment. There was a slight mean body weight loss in the 90 and 140 mg/kg/day dosage groups for the first three days of treatment. These reductions in weight gains resulted in reduced mean body weight gains over the entire treatment period in all treatment groups compared to the control (however, mean weight of all groups was within 5% of control on days 15 and 20. No biologically meaningful differences in the mean number of viable foetuses, implantations, post implantation losses, corpora lutea, or in the male to female sex ratio between any of the maleic anhydride treated groups and the control group. The general appearance and behaviour of rats were not affected by treatment.

Effect levels (maternal animals)

Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
>= 140 mg/kg bw/day
Basis for effect level:
other: maternal toxicity

Results (fetuses)

Details on embryotoxic / teratogenic effects:
Embryotoxic / teratogenic effects:no effects

Details on embryotoxic / teratogenic effects:
Mean foetal body weights were lower in the treatment groups than in the control group. This was not considered compound related due to the unusually high mean foetal body weight in this concurrent control group (mean: 4 g). External evaluation, internal examination, and skeletal observations of foetuses from all three treatment groups showed no anomalies in foetal development which could be attributed to maleic anhydride (slight increase in foetal malformations in the 30 (2/23 litters) and 140 mg/kg/day dosage group (3/21 litters) when compared to the control group (1/23 litters) is considered due to random occurrence due to the variety of abnormalities observed).

Effect levels (fetuses)

open allclose all
Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
>= 140 mg/kg bw/day
Basis for effect level:
other: teratogenicity
Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
>= 140 mg/kg bw/day
Basis for effect level:
other: fetotoxicity

Fetal abnormalities

not specified

Overall developmental toxicity

Developmental effects observed:
not specified

Applicant's summary and conclusion

It is concluded that the treatment with maleic anhydride up to 140 mg/kg/day did not produce a teratogenic response in CD rats.
Executive summary:

It is concluded that the treatment with maleic anhydride up to 140 mg/kg/day did not produce a teratogenic response in CD rats.