Effects of dietary administration of CL-20 on Japanese quail Coturnix coturnix japonica.Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2005 Aug; 49(2):215-22.AE
Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane, or CL-20, is an emerging highly energetic compound currently under consideration for military applications. With the anticipated wide use of CL-20, there is the potential for soil and groundwater contamination resulting in adverse toxicologic effects on environmental receptors. Presently, there is a lack of data describing the toxic effects of CL-20 on avian species. The present study describes the effect of CL-20 on Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) modified from standard toxicity test guidelines. First, a 14-day subacute assay was adopted using repeated gavage doses (0, 307, 964, 2439, 3475, or 5304 mg CL-20/kg body weight (BW)/d for 5 days followed by no CL-20 exposure (vehicle only) for 10 days. Second, a subchronic feeding assay (0, 11, 114, or 1085 mg CL-20/kg feed) was done for 42 days. During both studies, no overt toxicity was observed in the CL-20-treated birds. During the first 5 days of the subacute study, CL-20-exposed birds showed a dose-dependent decrease in BW gain, whereas increased liver weight, plasma sodium, and creatinine levels were observed in birds receiving the highest dose tested. For the subchronic study, embryo weights were significantly decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Embryos from CL-20-exposed birds were observed to have multiple cranial and facial deformities, beak curvatures, possible mid-brain enlargement, and classic one-sided development with micro-opthalamia (nonstatistical comparisons with control embryos). A trend toward decreased number of eggs laid per female bird was also observed. We conclude that CL-20 (or its degradation products) elicits few effects in adults but may affect avian development, although these preliminary findings should be confirmed.