This study examined the effect of post-natal lead exposure on the hippocampus of developing Wistar rats. Nine pregnant Wistar rats were randomly distributed into three groups of three rats each, consisting of a control Group 1 which received distilled water and experimental Groups 2 and 3 orally administered with 60 and 90 mg/kg bwt of lead acetate, respectively. The pups of the experimental Groups 2 and 3 were exposed to lead acetate via lactation from dams that were administered lead acetate from post-natal day (PND) 1 - PND 21. On PND 22, all the pups were weighed, and then euthanized. The brains of the pups were excised, weighed; lead deposit was quantified and fixed in Bouin’s fluid. The results revealed a significant (p<0.05) decrease in body weight, insignificant (p>0.05) decrease in brain weight, significant increase(p<0.05) in brain somatic index (BSI), significant increase(p<0.05) in lead deposition, weak staining for Nissl substance and distortion in cytoarchitecture of the hippocampus of Wistar rat’s pups exposed to lead acetate compared to the control. Post-natal exposure to lead acetate via lactation caused an increase in lead deposition, decrease in body weight and distortion in the cytoarchitecture of the hippocampus of developing Wistar rats.
Key words: Lead acetate, hippocampus, post-natal, lactation.
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