Dietary effects of ortho-phenylphenol and sodium ortho-phenylphenate on rat urothelium

M. K. St. John, L. L. Arnold, T. Anderson, M. Cano, S. L. Johansson, S. M. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ortho-phenylphenol (OPP) and sodium ortho-phenylphenate (NaOPP) are pesticides used commercially in the food industry that have been shown to be carcinogenic to rat urothelium. Dietary administration of 1.25% OPP or 2.0% NaOPP caused increased incidences of urothelial hyperplasia and eventually caused tumors in male F344 rats, with NaOPP apparently having a more potent effect. In other studies, various sodium salts such as saccharin and ascorbate enhanced bladder carcinogenesis, although the acid forms of these salts did not. In studies with high dietary doses of these sodium salts, an amorphous precipitate was produced in the urine; precipitate formation was pH dependent. In previous experiments in which high doses of OPP were fed for up to 17 weeks, severe hyperplasia of the urothelium was produced, but without the formation of an urinary amorphous precipitate, calculi, or abnormal microcrystalluria. In addition, we found no evidence of OPP-DNA adduct formation in the urothelium. The present study was conducted to determine if feeding NaOPP · 4 H2O to male F344 rats as 2.0% of the diet resulted in the formation of an amorphous precipitate in the urine, and if NaOPP caused an increased mineral concentration in the urine and/or kidneys. NaOPP administration produced a higher urinary pH than did OPP fed as 1.25% of the diet. Neither amorphous precipitate nor other solids were observed in the urine of the OPP or NaOPP-treated rats, and urinary calcium concentrations in the treated groups were similar to control. OPP and NaOPP had similar proliferative effects on rat urothelium after 10 weeks of treatment by light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling indices. The results of this study indicate that formation of abnormal urinary solids is not part of the mechanism by which OPP or NaOPP exert their effects on the rat bladder epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Ortho-phenylphenol
  • Rats
  • Sodium ortho-phenylphenate
  • Urothelial effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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