Research has shown that even low levels of lead (Pb) exposure are dangerous. Thus, Pb exposure/toxicity continues to be a leading environmental health issue for children and women of childbearing age. A variety of toxic effects caused by Pb exposure during gestation and early childhood have been reported in both human and animal studies. Adult Wistar rats of both sexes were used for this study. They were housed in individual improvised cages and were given food and water ad libitum. The animal room temperature was maintained at approximately 27˚C with a 12 light/dark cycle. After the period of acclimatization, adult rats were randomly assigned into four groups of eight rats each (4 males and 4 females) viz; Adult exposed and control; prenatally exposed and control. The adult and prenatally groups received 2n mM lead acetate solution as sole drinking fluid for the duration of the experiment. The study showed significant (p ≤ 0.05) results in pups negative geotaxis and cliff avoidance and sex by measure interaction response to weight changes in the adult groups, while the adult negative geotaxis, cliff avoidance, pups’ righting reflex showed no significant value (p ≥ 0.05). The lead exposed group hastens the eruption of upper incisors and eye opening and delayed the ear unfolding. The present results suggest that the prenatal exposure to Pb, influences the rate of physical maturation and sensory motor reflexes in pups.
Key words: Lead acetate, toxicity, physical maturation, motor reflexes, anomalies.
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