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Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

DOD Funding of Animal Cruelty 2005: Characterization of the Pharmacokinetics and Oral Toxicity of N-Acetyl-1 Cysteine (NAC) in Sprague-Dawley Rats

Title: Characterization of the Pharmacokinetics and Oral Toxicity of N-Acetyl-1 Cysteine (NAC) in Sprague-Dawley Rats

Research Category:  

FY: 2005 Funding (in dollars): 91,000

Primary Contact: See Responsible Organization Information
City: Wright-Patterson AFB
State: OH
Zip: 45433-7902


Objective: This study will determine the harm in rats of daily oral exposure to large amounts of N-Acetyl-L Cysteine (NAC) for 30 consecutive days. NAC is a substance that has been shown to prevent toxicity and sickness as a result of chemical exposure or exposure to a virus.

Approach: Animals will be orally dosed to high concentrations of Body weights and temperatures will be taken on a daily basis N-Acetyl-L Cysteine (NAC) for 30 consecutive days. Each day, the rats will be watched for behavior indicating that they are sick; rats that act sick will be noted and possibly sacrificed if their symptoms are severe. At the end of the experiment, all animals still alive will be sacrificed, necropsied, and their organs will be looked at for changes in color or shape that might indicate harm caused by daily exposure to NAC. Some animals will be anesthetized with CO2 gas and exsanguinated and blood samples analyzed to help determine whether NAC causes problems in the cells that circulate in the blood. A second set of rats will be fed large amounts of radio-labeled NAC and sacrificed at 30 minutes, 1, 4, 6, 12, and 25 hours after being fed radio-labeled NAC. Both the blood and major organs will be removed from these animals and the amount of radioactivity present in these tissues will be determined. The amounts of radioactivity present in tissues will be used as a marker for the relative amounts of NAC taken up or present in the tissues. Urine and feces will be collected from select animals still living at 1, 4, 12, and 24 hours after being given radio-labeled NAC to help determine the amounts of NAC that are released by these routes of excretion over 24 hours.

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Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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