Comparative nephrotoxicitiy induced by melamine, cyanuric acid, or a mixture of both chemicals in either Sprague-Dawley rats or renal cell lines. Academic Article uri icon


  • Acute nephrotoxicities of melamine (MEL), cyanuric acid (CA), and a mixture of both melamine and cyanuric acid (MC) were comparatively investigated in male Sprague-Dawley rats at 5 doses each with 10-fold dose interval as follows: MEL at 0.0315, 0.315, 3.15, 31.5, and 315 mg/kg; CA at 0.025, 0.25, 2.5, 25, and 250 mg/kg, and MC: [1: (0.0315 + 0.025), 10: (0.315 + 0.25), 100: (3.15 + 2.5), 1000: (31.5 + 25), and (315 + 250) mg/kg]. No marked adverse effects in renal function were observed in animals treated with MEL alone or CA alone, but evidence related to nephrotoxicity was noted in rats administered MC. Renal calculi and increased kidney weights were found in rats 7 d after daily oral administration of MC. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine were significantly elevated in the high dose MC groups at 100 or 1000. In addition, elevated numbers of white blood cells (WBC), neutrophils, and lymphocytes in vivo and increased levels of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) in vitro were found in the MC group. Based on these data, the NOAEL (no-observed-adverse-effect level) for nephrotoxicity for MC was estimated to be 3.15 mg/kg body weight (bw)/d (MEL) plus 2.5 mg/kg bw/d (CA). If a safety factor of 1000 or more were applied to NOAEL, tolerable daily intake (TDI) would be 0.00315 and 0.0025 mg/kg/d or less for MEL and CA, respectively, which is far below the TDI of 0.2 mg/kg/d set by World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, in vitro cytotoxicity assays showed that the ACHN human renal adenocarcinoma cell line was more sensitive to MEL, CA, and MC than the MDCK canine kidney epithelial cell line. The 24-h half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) values for MEL (4792, 2792 g/ml) were less than those of CA (9890, 6725 g/ml, respectively) in MDCK and ACHN cell lines, suggesting that MEL may be more cytotoxic than CA. Furthermore, the 24-h IC(50) value for MC was found to be 208 g/ml in ACHN cells. Data suggest that NOAELs based upon acute nephrotoxic parameters for MC were low, which might require further reassessment of the current TDI.

published proceedings

  • J Toxicol Environ Health A

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, L., Kwak, M. Y., Kwak, E. H., Kim, D. H., Han, E. Y., Roh, T., ... Lee, B. M.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Choi, Lan||Kwak, Min Young||Kwak, Eun Hwa||Kim, Dong Hyun||Han, Eun Young||Roh, Taehyun||Bae, Jung Yun||Ahn, Il Young||Jung, Jea Yeon||Kwon, Mi Jung||Jang, Dong Eun||Lim, Seong Kwang||Kwack, Seung Jun||Han, Soon Young||Kang, Tae Seok||Kim, Seung Hee||Kim, Hyung Sik||Lee, Byung Mu

publication date

  • November 2010