The present study was carried out to determine the effects of aflatoxinB1 (AFB1) on the skeletal system of the fetuses of balady rabbits. The female animals were divided into three groups, one control and two treated, the control group contained four dams, the intoxicated group with 0.1 mg/kg contained six dams while the intoxicated with 0.05 mg/kg contained three dams. A dose of 0.1 and 0.05 mg/kg/day AFB1 was administered by gastric intubation to pregnant rabbits on the 6th-21st day of pregnancy. The fetuses were obtained through the uterine incisionat different stages of gestation according to the group. The lengths and weights of the fetuses as well as absolute organs weights were measured, revealing the statistically significant differences between the control and intoxicated with 0.05 mg/kg group at 29th day of gestation (p<0.001) while there were non-significant decrease of control and intoxicated with 0.1 mg/kg at 22nd day of gestation. The observed gross anomalies included wrinkled skin, enlarged eye socket and microphthalmic eyes in both groups. The heart of treated group showed reduction in size with wide ventricular lumen and shallow inter ventricular groove in intoxicated group with a dose of 0.05 mg/kg AFB1. Regarding the skeletal anomalies, there were incomplete ossification in some of the skull bones, the laminae of the vertebral arches throughout the vertebral column remain cartilaginous. The sternum was incompletely ossified. Most of the appendicular skeleton bones were grossly shorter and remained in cartilaginous state.
Key words: Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), rabbits, teratogenicity, ossification.
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