National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program
http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/33584

Abstract for TR-557 - beta-Myrcene (CASRN 123-35-3)

TR-557
Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of β-Myrcene (CAS No. 123-35-3) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Gavage Studies)

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Abstract

Chemical Formula: C10H16 -- Molecular Weight: 136.24

β-Myrcene, an acyclic unsubstituted monoterpene, and the essential oils which contain it are used as intermediates in the production of terpene alcohols (geraniol, nerol, and linalool), which, in turn, serve as intermediates in the production of aroma and flavor chemicals. Thus β-myrcene is used widely in cosmetics, soaps, and detergents and as a flavoring additive in food and beverages. β-Myrcene is also the major constituent of hop and bay oils, which are used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages. β-Myrcene was nominated for study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences based on its high production volume, high level of human exposure, and structural relationship to d-limonene, which induced neoplasms in the kidneys of male rats in association with hyaline droplet nephropathy (NTP, 1990). Male and female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice were administered β-myrcene (greater than 90% pure) by gavage for 3 months or 2 years. Genetic toxicology studies were conducted in Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, and mouse peripheral blood erythrocytes.

3-MONTH STUDY IN RATS

Groups of 10 male and 10 female rats were administered 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 g β-myrcene/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage, 5 days per week for 14 weeks. Additional groups of 10 male and 10 female special study rats were administered the same doses for 23 days. All core study rats in the 4 g/kg groups died during the first week of the study except one male that died on day 11. One to three rats in the 1 and 2 g/kg groups and one 0.5 g/kg male died by week 10 of the study. One 2 g/kg female died during the last week of the study. Except for lesion incidence data in groups administered 2 g/kg or less, data from rats that died early were excluded from the analysis and summary tables. Mean body weights were significantly decreased in male rats in the 0.5, 1, and 2 g/kg groups. Special study rats in the 4 g/kg groups died by the end of the first week. Dose-related clinical findings in animals that died early included thinness, lethargy, abnormal breathing, and ruffled fur. Right kidney and liver weights of dosed males and females were generally significantly greater than those of the vehicle controls.

In special study rats evaluated on day 23, the incidences and severities of chronic progressive nephropathy (CPN) and renal tubule degeneration were increased in 2 g/kg males. At the end of the 3-month study, the incidences of renal tubule necrosis were significantly increased in all dosed groups of males and females.

 At 3 months, the incidences of olfactory epithelium degeneration in 2 g/kg males and females were significantly increased, and the severities were increased. The incidences of chronic inflammation in 1 and 2 g/kg males and females were significantly increased. All 2 g/kg males and females had splenic atrophy. In the mesenteric lymph node, significantly increased incidences of atrophy occurred in 2 g/kg males and 1 and 2 g/kg females. Acute inflammation of the forestomach occurred in four 2 g/kg females. The incidences of porphyrin pigmentation in the Harderian gland of males administered 0.5 g/kg or greater were significantly increased.

3-MONTH STUDY IN MICE

Groups of 10 male and 10 female mice were administered 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 g β-myrcene/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage, 5 days per week for 14 weeks. All 4 g/kg male and female mice died during week 1; nine 2 g/kg males and eight 2 g/kg females died by week 4. The mean body weights of 1 g/kg males were significantly less than those of the vehicle controls. Clinical findings in animals that did not survive to the end of the study included thinness, lethargy, and abnormal breathing. The right kidney weights of 1 g/kg females and the liver weights of females administered 0.5 or 1 g/kg were significantly increased. No histopathology changes were observed in mice administered 1 g/kg or less. The 2 and 4 g/kg mice were not evaluated due to early deaths.

2-YEAR STUDY IN RATS

Groups of 50 male and 50 female rats were administered 0, 0.25, 0.5, or 1 g β-myrcene/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage, 5 days per week for 105 weeks. All 1 g/kg male rats died before the end of the study due to renal toxicity. Compared to vehicle controls, the mean body weights of 0.25 and 0.5 g/kg males were slightly greater, and mean body weights of 1 g/kg males and females were at least 8% less than those of vehicle controls after 11 weeks and 13 weeks, respectively.

In the standard evaluation of the kidney, the incidence of renal tubule adenoma was significantly increased in 0.5 g/kg male rats, and the combined incidences of renal tubule adenoma or carcinoma were significantly increased in 0.25 and 0.5 g/kg males. In both the extended evaluation and the combined standard and extended evaluations, the incidences of renal tubule adenoma and the combined incidences of renal tubule adenoma or carcinoma were significantly increased in the 0.25 and 0.5 g/kg groups of males. The incidences of renal tubule nephrosis (nephrosis) were markedly increased in all dosed groups of both sexes except in 0.25 g/kg females. The incidences of papillary mineralization in 0.25 and 0.5 g/kg males were significantly increased. Significantly increased incidences of nephropathy occurred in dosed females, and the severity was increased in the 0.5 and 1 g/kg males and females. The incidences of hyperplasia of the transitional epithelium lining the pelvis and overlying the renal papilla were significantly increased in all dosed groups of males and females. In male rats, the incidences of focal suppurative inflammation were significantly increased in the 0.25 and 0.5 g/kg groups.

A significantly increased incidence of chronic active inflammation of the nose occurred in 0.5 g/kg males. Also in 0.5 g/kg males, the incidence of chronic active inflammation of the forestomach was increased.

2-YEAR STUDY IN MICE

Groups of 50 male and 50 female mice were administered 0, 0.25, 0.5, or 1 g β-myrcene/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage, 5 days per week for 104 or 105 weeks. Survival of 1 g/kg mice was significantly less than that of the vehicle controls; the cause of the deaths was uncertain. Mean body weights of 1 g/kg males were at least 8% less than those of the vehicle controls between week 8 and week 56. Mean body weights of 0.5 g/kg females were at least  7% less than those of the vehicle controls after week 17, and those of 1 g/kg females were at least 8% less from week 11 to week 96.

The incidences of liver neoplasms were significantly increased in 0.25 and/or 0.5 g/kg males and 0.25 g/kg females. Liver neoplasms included hepatocellular adenoma and hepatocellular carcinoma in males and females and hepatoblastoma in males. The incidences of hepatocellular hypertrophy were significantly increased in 0.5 g/kg males and females, as was the incidence of mixed cell focus in 0.5 g/kg females.

The incidences of bone marrow atrophy and lymph node follicle atrophy in the spleen were significantly increased in 0.5 g/kg females. In the forestomach, there were significantly increased incidences of inflammation and epithelial hyperplasia in 0.5 g/kg females.

GENETIC TOXICOLOGY

β-Myrcene did not show evidence of genotoxicity in assays conducted by the NTP. No mutagenicity was observed in any of several strains of Salmonella typhimurium or Escherichia coli in two independent Ames assays conducted with and without exogenous metabolic activation. In addition, no significant increase in frequency of micronucleated normochromatic erythrocytes, biomarkers of chromosomal damage, was observed in male or female mice administered β-myrcene for 3 months by gavage.

CONCLUSIONS

Under the conditions of these 2-year gavage studies, there was clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of β-myrcene in male F344/N rats based on increased incidences of renal tubule neoplasms. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity of β-myrcene in female F344/N rats based on increased incidences of renal tubule adenoma. There was clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of β-myrcene in male B6C3F1 mice based on increased incidences of hepatocellular adenoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and hepatoblastoma. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity of β-myrcene in female B6C3F1 mice based on marginally increased incidences of hepatocellular adenoma and carcinoma.

Administration of β-myrcene induced nonneoplastic lesions in the kidney of male and female rats, nose of male rats, and liver of male and female mice.

Synonyms: 2-Methyl-6-methylene-2,7-octadiene; 7-methyl-3-methylene-1,6-octadiene; myrcene


Summary of the 2-Year Carcinogenesis and Genetic Toxicology Studies of β-Myrcenea
  Male
F344/N Rats
Female
F344/N Rats
Male
B6C3F1 Mice
Female
B6C3F1 Mice
Doses in corn oil by gavage 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1 g/kg 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1 g/kg 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1 g/kg 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1 g/kg
Body weights 0.25 and 0.5 g/kg groups greater than vehicle control group after week 81; 1 g/kg group less than vehicle control after week 7 1 g/kg group less than vehicle control group after week 13 1 g/kg group less than vehicle control group after week 8 1 g/kg group less than vehicle control group after week 11; 0.5 g/kg group less than vehicle control group after week 17
Survival rates 29/50, 36/50, 28/50, 0/50 31/50, 33/50, 28/50, 33/50 35/50, 35/50, 31/50, 21/50 39/50, 34/50, 35/50, 17/50
Nonneoplastic effects Kidney: renal tubule, nephrosis (0/50, 42/50, 46/50); papilla, mineralization (1/50, 48/50, 40/50); severity of nephropathy (1.2, 2.0, 2.6); transitional epithelium, hyperplasia (0/50, 21/50, 19/50); inflammation, suppurative, focal (1/50, 22/50, 22/50)
Nose: inflammation, chronic active (14/50, 19/50, 27/50)
Kidney: renal tubule, nephrosis (0/50, 2/50, 27/50, 45/50); nephropathy (26/50, 43/50, 41/50, 44/50); severity of nephropathy (1.0, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7); transitional epithelium, hyperplasia (1/50, 12/50, 15/50, 19/50) Liver: hepatocyte, hypertrophy (1/50, 2/50, 16/50) Liver: hepatocyte, hypertrophy (0/50, 0/50, 6/50); mixed cell focus (1/50, 4/50, 6/50)
Neoplastic effects Kidney: renal tubule adenoma (standard evaluation - 0/50, 4/50, 8/50; standard and extended evaluations combined - 0/50, 12/50, 13/50); renal tubule adenoma or carcinoma (standard evaluation - 0/50, 7/50, 9/50; standard and extended evaluations combined - 0/50, 14/50, 13/50) None Liver: hepatocellular adenoma (26/50, 41/50, 43/50); hepatocellular carcinoma (14/50, 20/50, 28/50); hepatocellular adenoma or carcinoma (33/50, 44/50, 48/50); hepatoblastoma (4/50, 6/50, 11/50); hepatocellular adenoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, or hepatoblastoma (34/50, 45/50, 48/50) None
Equivocal findings None Kidney: renal tubule adenoma (standard evaluation - 0/50, 1/50, 0/50, 2/50; standard and extended evaluations combined - 0/50, 2/50, 1/50, 3/50) None Liver: hepatocellular adenoma (6/50, 13/50, 6/50); hepatocellular carcinoma (1/50, 7/50, 2/50); hepatocellular adenoma or carcinoma (7/50, 18/50, 8/50)
Level of evidence of carcinogenic activity Clear evidence Equivocal evidence Clear evidence Equivocal evidence
Genetic toxicology
Salmonella typhimurium gene mutations:
 
Negative in strains TA97, TA98, TA100, and TA1535 with and without S9; negative in Escherichia coli strain WP2 uvrA/pKM101 with and without S9
Micronucleated erythrocytes
Mouse peripheral blood in vivo:
Negative

a Neoplasm and nonneoplastic lesion incidences are not presented for 1 g/kg male or female mice due to high mortality

 


Date: December 2010

Pathology Tables, Survival and Growth Curves from NTP 2-year Studies

Target Organs & Incidences from 2-year Studies

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