Turkish Journal of Biology




In human and animal organisms, lead can cause reproductive problems beginning with pregnant females. The reproductive axis is particularly sensitive to lead, its influence resulting in a delayed sexual maturity due to biosynthesis suppression of the sexual steroids. An animal model study was carried out on 28 white Wistar adult female rats, divided into 3 experimental (E) groups that were exposed for 12 months to lead acetate in drinking water as follows: 50 ppb Pb (E_1), 100 ppb Pb (E_2), and 150 ppb Pb (E_3), with a control group (M) that received unleaded tap water. Levels of FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone were evaluated in the proestrus phase by ELISA technique. Data obtained were compared by one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni correction. As a conclusion, compared to the M group, we can ascertain that lead acetate administered over a long-term period to female rats determines (with the exception of estradiol and progesterone), in direct correlation with the exposure levels, the following: significantly decreased FSH, but still within physiological limits of serum levels; significantly higher serum levels of LH; significantly decreased serum levels of estradiol and progesterone; and significantly higher serum levels of testosterone.


Reproductive biology, females, hormones, rats, lead acetate

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