The evaluation of organ weights in toxicology studies is an integral component in the assessment of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and medical devices. The Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP) has created recommendations for weighing organs in GLP general toxicology studies lasting from 7 days to 1 year. The STP recommends that liver, heart, kidneys, brain, testes, and adrenal glands be weighed in all multidose general toxicology studies. Thyroid gland and pituitary gland weights are recommended for all species except mice. Spleen and thymus should be weighed in rodent studies and may be weighed in non-rodent studies. Weighing of reproductive organs is most valuable in sexually mature animals. Variability in age, sexual maturity, and stage of cycle in non-rodents and reproductive senescence in female rodents may complicate or limit interpretation of reproductive organ weights. The STP recommends that testes of all species be weighed in multidose general toxicology studies. Epididymides and prostate should be weighed in rat studies and may be weighed on a case-by-case basis in non-rodent and mouse studies. Weighing of other organs including female reproductive organs should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Organ weights are not recommended for any carcinogenicity studies including the alternative mouse bioassays. Regardless of the study type or organs evaluated, organ weight changes must be evaluated within the context of the compound class, mechanism of action, and the entire data set for that study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology