The relative toxicity (log IGC50(-1)) of 49 selected aliphatic amines and aminoalkanols was evaluated in the static Tetrahymena pyriformis population growth impairment assay. Excess toxicity, indicated by potency greater than predicted for non-polar narcotic alkanols, was associated with both classes of test chemicals. Moreover, the aminoalkanols were found to be more toxic than the corresponding alkanamines. A high quality 1-octanol/water partition coefficient (log K(ow)) dependent quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR), logIGC50(-1) = 0.78 (log K(ow)) - 1.42; r2 = 0.934, was developed for alkanamines. This QSAR represented the amine narcosis mechanism of toxic action. No quality QSAR was developed for the aminoalkanols. However, several structure-toxicity features were observed for this class of chemicals. Two-amino-1-hydroxy derivatives being more toxic than the corresponding derivatives, where the amino and hydroxy moieties were separated by methylene groups. Hydrocarbon branching next to the amino moiety resulted in decreased toxicity. Aminoalkanol alters lipid metabolism in T. pyriformis.
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