Reproductive and neurobehavioural toxicity study of tartrazine administered to mice in the diet.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Feb;44(2):179-87. Epub 2005 Aug 8. PMID: 16087284
Department of Environmental Health and Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health, 3-24-1, Hyakunincho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0073, Japan. [email protected]
Tartrazine was given in the diet to provide levels of 0% (control), 0.05%, 0.15%, and 0.45% (approximately 83, 259, 773 mg/kg/day, respectively) from five weeks of age of the F0 generation to nine weeks of age of the F1 generation in mice, and selected reproductive and neurobehavioural parameters were measured. In movement activity of exploratory behaviour in the F0 generation, number of vertical activity was significantly increased in the middle-dose group in males. There were no adverse effects of tartrazine on either litter size, litter weight and sex ratio at birth. The average body weight of male offspring was significantly increased in the high-dose group and that of female offspring was significantly increased in the middle-dose group at birth. In behavioural developmental parameters, surface righting at PND 4 was significantly accelerated in the high-dose group in male offspring, and those effects were significantly dose-related in a trend test (P<0.01). Cliff avoidance at PND 7 was significantly accelerated in the middle-dose group in male offspring. Negative geotaxis at PND 4 was significantly delayed in the high-dose group in female offspring. Other variables measured showed no significant adverse effects in either sex in the lactation period. In movement activity of exploratory behaviour in the F1 generation, number of movement showed a significant tendency to be affected in the treatment groups in male offspring in a trend test (P<0.05). The dose level of tartrazine in the present study produced a few adverse effects in neurobehavioural parameters during the lactation period in mice. Nevertheless, the high-dose level were in excess of the ADI of tartrazine (0-7.5 mg/kgbw), and the actual dietary intake of tartrazine is presumed to be much lower. It would therefore appear that the levels of actual dietary intake of tartrazine is unlikely to produce any adverse effects in humans.