Evaluation of the toxic potentials of a new camptothecin anticancer agent CKD-602 on fertility and early embryonic development in rats

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This study examined the potential adverse effects of a new camptothecin anticancer agent, CKD-602, on the fertility and early embryonic development of Sprague–Dawley rats. Ninety-six rats of each gender were divided into four groups: three treatment groups and a control group. CKD-602 was administered intravenously to male rats at 0, 4.7, 14, and 42 μg/kg from 63 days prior to mating until the end of the mating period, and to female rats from 14 days before mating until day 6 of gestation. All the males were sacrificed after the end of the 14-day mating period, while all the females were subjected to a caesarean section on day 15 of gestation. In the high dose group, a high incidence of hair loss was observed in both genders. A decrease in the level of food consumption, followed by a decrease in body weight gain was also observed in both genders. At the scheduled necropsy, the gross postmortem examinations revealed an increase in the incidence of thymic atrophy, paleness of the thoracic and abdominal organs in both genders and an increase in the serum testosterone concentration. In addition, there was a decrease in the thymus weight of the males and an increase in the liver, spleen, kidneys, lung, and heart weights of the females. There was an increase in the number of fetal deaths and post-implantation losses as well as a decrease in the litter size found at the caesarean section of the dams. No treatment-related effect on the histopathological findings, sexual cycle, pre-coital time, mating index, fertility index, pregnancy index, and sperm parameters was observed. There were no adverse effects on the general findings and reproductive performance of the parent animals and early embryonic development in the low and medium dose groups. Overall, the no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) of CKD-602 are believed to be 14 μg/kg for both general toxicity and early embryonic development, and more than 42 μg/kg for the reproductive performance of the parent animals.

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