Repeated dose 28-day oral toxicity study of DEAE-Dextran in mice: An advancement in safety chemotherapeutics

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Cancer has emerged as a global threat with challenges for safe chemotherapeutics. Most of the currently available anti-cancer drugs exhibit significant toxicity. Amongst novel agents, interferons have exhibited anti-proliferative and cytoprotective roles. However, due to stability drawbacks of interferons, we have identified an interferon inducer DEAE-Dextran, which resolves the stability issues. Based on the previous history of toxicity pertaining to the current chemotherapeutic agents, it is equally essential to determine the safety of DEAE-Dextran. In the present study, repeated dose 28 day oral toxicity of DEAE-Dextran has been evaluated in accordance to OECD-407. We found absence of any CNS behavioral changes related to self-mutilation, walking backwards, aggressiveness on handling or tonic-clonic seizures during the 28 day study. Neither the motor activity nor grip strength was altered during the treatment duration with DEAE-Dextran implying absence of any effect on the skeletal muscles. Interestingly, we also found that treatment with DEAE-Dextran did not present any significant cardiac, hepatic, renal, gastrointestinal, lymphatic or reproductive system toxicity or alteration in the body's normal physiology based upon the various organ function tests. Henceforth, it may be concluded that DEAE-Dextran is a safe anti-cancer agent devoid of any sub-acute toxicity.

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