Dimethylarsinic acid: Results of chronic toxicity/oncogenicity studies in F344 rats and in B6C3F1 mice

Lora L. Arnold, Michal Eldan, Abraham Nyska, Marcia van Gemert, Samuel M. Cohen

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69 Scopus citations


Dimethylarsinic acid (DMAV, cacodylic acid), a foliar herbicide, was administered in the diet to B6C3F1 mice (at dose levels of 0, 8, 40, 200, and 500 ppm) and to F344 rats (at dose levels of 0, 2, 10, 40, and 100 ppm) for 2 years, according to US EPA guidelines. In mice, there were no treatment-related tumors observed at any site. Treatment-related progressive glomerulonephropathy and nephrocalcinosis were observed in the kidneys in both sexes. The incidence of vacuolation of the epithelium in the urinary bladder was increased in both sexes, but was not associated with cytotoxicity, necrosis or hyperplasia. Based on non-neoplastic lesions found in the urinary bladder, the NOEL for mice was assessed to be 40 ppm in males and 8 ppm in females. In rats, treatment-related mortality occurred early in the study in five males in the 100 ppm group and in one male in the 40 ppm group. Papillomas and carcinomas with degeneration of the urothelium, necrosis and urothelial cell hyperplasia, were found in the urinary bladders of both sexes. In male rats, one papilloma was found in each of the 10 and 40 ppm groups; one urothelial cell carcinoma was found in the 2 ppm group and two in the 100 ppm group. Four papillomas and six urothelial cell carcinomas were found in the female 100 ppm group. Non-neoplastic treatment-related kidney lesions were confined to the 40 and 100 ppm levels and included necrosis, pyelonephritis, medullary nephrocalcinosis and tubular cystic dilation, hyperplasia of the epithelial lining of the papilla, and pelvic urothelial cell hyperplasia. All of these kidney changes appear to be related to an increase in the aging nephropathy of the rat. Dose-related increases in the height of the thyroid follicular epithelium were also noted in males and females, however, such changes reflect an adaptive response of the thyroid to decreased levels of circulating thyroid hormone, rather than an adverse effect. Based on the kidney and bladder lesions, the NOEL for non-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions was considered to be 10 ppm in males and females. Based on these studies, DMAV is carcinogenic only in rats and only at relatively high doses, with the urinary bladder as the target organ. Female rats appear to be more sensitive to the effects of DMAV than male rats. DMAV is not carcinogenic in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-100
Number of pages19
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Bladder carcinogenesis
  • Dimethylarsinic acid
  • Methylated arsenical
  • Organic arsenic compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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