13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY
13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Animal carcinogenesis studies with sublingually administered nitroglycerin have not been performed.
Carcinogenicity potential of nitroglycerin was evaluated in rats receiving up to 434 mg/kg/day of dietary nitroglycerin for 2 years. Rats developed dose-related fibrotic and neoplastic changes in liver, including carcinomas, and interstitial cell tumors in testes. At high dose, the incidences of hepatocellular carcinomas in males was 48% and in females was 33%, compared to 0% in untreated controls. Incidences of testicular tumors were 52% vs. 8% in controls. Lifetime dietary administration of up to 1058 mg/kg/day of nitroglycerin was not tumorigenic in mice.
Nitroglycerin was mutagenic in Ames tests performed in 2 different laboratories. Nevertheless, there was no evidence of mutagenicity in an in vivo dominant lethal assay with male rats treated with doses up to about 363 mg/kg/day, PO, or in ex vivo cytogenetic tests in rat and dog cells.
In a 3-generation reproduction study, rats received dietary nitroglycerin at doses up to about 434 mg/kg/day for 6 months prior to mating of the F0 generation, with treatment continuing through successive F1 and F2 generations. The high dose was associated with decreased feed intake and body weight gain in both sexes at all matings. No specific effect on the fertility of the F0 generation was seen. Infertility noted in subsequent generations, however, was attributed to increased interstitial cell tissue and aspermatogenesis in the high-dose males. In this 3-generation study, there was no clear evidence of teratogenicity.