Induction of malformations in the cynomolgus monkey with 13‐cis retinoic acid

Hans Hummler, Rainhart Korte, Andrew G Hendrickx

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59 Scopus citations


The embryotoxic and teratogenic potential of 13‐cis retinoic acid was assessed in the cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis). A total of 41 animals was orally administered 13‐cis retinoic acid in four sequential experiments. In Exp. 1 three dose levels, 2, 10, and 25 mg/kg, were administered on gestational day (GD) 18–28; 5 mg/kg was administered as an equally divided dose twice daily in Exp. 2 and 3 on GD 21–24 and on GD 25–27, respectively; in Exp. 4 the drug was administered at 2.5 mg/kg once daily from GD 10 to 25 and twice daily (2 × 2.5 mg/kg) on GD 26 and 27. Maternal death and toxicity, manifested as reduction in maternal weight and food consumption, and diarrhea, was observed in Exp. 1 in all three dose groups. No significant maternal toxicity was observed in the treatment groups in Exp. 2, 3, and 4 or in the control group. The primary manifestation of developmental toxicity was embryolethality in Exp. 1 and 2. The incidence of embryonic deaths in Exp. 3 was comparable to the historical controls. No malformations in GD 100 fetuses were observed in Exp. 1, 2, and 3. In Exp. 4, five of seven fetuses (71%) had malformations of both external ears, four of seven fetuses (57%) exhibited hypo‐ or aplasia of the thymus, and two of seven (29%) had malformations (transposition of the great vessels, ventricular septal defect) of the heart. The teratogenic dose for the cynomolgus monkey in the present study was lower than that reported for all other experimental species. Although central nervous system and craniofacial defects were not observed, the incidence of ear and thymus defects was similar to that reported for the human. The cardiovascular defects resembled those reported clinically, but the incidence was lower in the cynomolgus monkey. The similarity in teratogenic sensitivity to humans supports the use of the monkey as a model for developmental toxicity studies of vitamin A‐related compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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