Consideration of rat chronic progressive nephropathy in regulatory evaluations for carcinogenicity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chronic progressive nephropathy (CPN) is a spontaneous renal disease of rats which can be a serious confounder in toxicology studies. It is a progressive disease with known physiological factors that modify disease progression, such as high dietary protein. The weight of evidence supports an absence of a renal counterpart in humans. There is extensive evidence that advanced CPN, particularly end-stage kidney, is a risk factor for development of a background incidence of atypical tubule hyperplasia and renal tubule tumors (RTT). The likely cause underlying this association with tubule neoplasia is the long-term increased tubule cell proliferation that occurs throughout CPN progression. As a variety of chemicals are able to exacerbate CPN, there is a potential for those exacerbating the severity up to and including end-stage kidney to cause a marginal increase in RTT and their precursor lesions. Extensive statistical analysis of National Toxicology Program studies shows a strong correlation between high-grade CPN, especially end-stage CPN, and renal tumor development. CPN as a mode of action (MOA) for rat RTT has received attention from regulatory authorities only recently. In the absence of toxic effects elsewhere, this does not constitute a carcinogenic effect of the chemical but can be addressed through a proposed MOA approach for regulatory purposes to reach a decision that RTT, developing as a result of CPN exacerbation in rats, have no relevance for human risk assessment. Guidelines are proposed for evaluation of exacerbation of CPN and RTT as a valid MOA for a given chemical.

published proceedings

  • Toxicol Sci

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Hard, G. C., Banton, M. I., Bretzlaff, R. S., Dekant, W., Fowles, J. R., Mallett, A. K., ... Cohen, S. M.

citation count

  • 39

publication date

  • January 2013