Changes in progesterone secretion during chronic exposure to lead in female Cavia porcellus


1Department of Morphofunctional Modules, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania

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Taking in consideration that lead occupies the second place in the CERLA priority list of hazardous substances, it is of special importance to evidence lead’s adverse effects. It can enter the organism by food ingestion (65%), drinking water (20%) and air inspiration (15%). The most important lead adverse effects are cardiovascular and renal toxicity, hematological toxicity and neural and hormonal toxicity. The main purpose of this study is to estimate the effect of BLL in progesterone secretion in females. In order to ascertain what reproductive abnormalities occur in experimental animals when exposed to lead, approximately 4 months old Cavia porcellus, (sexually matured), were treated with intraperitoneal injections of different concentrations of lead acetate in aqueous solutions for 60 days. Lead doses applied were 0.0036 mg/kg/day (TDI), 2,61 mg/kg/day (intermediate) and 4,95 mg/kg/day (LD50-5%). The progesterone secretion profile and BLL were monitored weekly by analyzing the blood samples. According to the data collected, chronic exposure to lead affects greatly the profile of progesterone secretion. There is a strong positive correlation between BLLs and progesterone secretion in two of the doses applied (r = 0.739, α = 0.05 in intermediate dose and r = 0872, α = 0.05 in LD50-5% dose). In very low doses of lead (tolerable daily intake) instead, the secretion of progesterone is not significantly altered. These changes are associated to pronounced histological damages in the ovary, like; disruption of cell contacts, atrophy and disorganization of granulose cells, small corpus luteum with hemorrhagic processes, confirmed in our previous studies.

Keywords: progesterone, lead, reproduction, BLL.

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