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Publication Detail

Title: Long-term, low-dose lead exposure alters the gonadotropin-releasing hormone system in the male rat.

Authors: Sokol, Rebecca Z; Wang, Saixi; Wan, Yu-Jui Y; Stanczyk, Frank Z; Gentzschein, Elisabet; Chapin, Robert E

Published In Environ Health Perspect, (2002 Sep)

Abstract: Lead is a male reproductive toxicant. Data suggest that rats dosed with relatively high levels of lead acetate for short periods of time induced changes in the hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) at the molecular level, but these changes were attenuated with increased concentration of exposure. The current study evaluated whether exposure to low levels of lead acetate over longer periods of time would produce a similar pattern of adaptation to toxicity at the molecular and biologic levels. Adult 100-day-old Sprague-Dawley male rats were dosed with 0, 0.025, 0.05, 0.1, and 0.3% lead acetate in water. Animals were killed after 1, 4, 8, and 16 weeks of treatment. Luteinzing hormone (LH) and GnRH levels were measured in serum, and lead levels were quantified in whole blood. Hypothalamic GnRH mRNA levels were also quantified. We found no significant differences in serum LH and GnRH among the groups of animals treated within each time period. A significant dose-related increase of GnRH mRNA concentrations with lead dosing occurred in animals treated for 1 week. Animals treated for more than 1 week also exhibited a significant increase in GnRH mRNA, but with an attenuation of the increase at the higher concentrations of lead with increased duration of exposure. We conclude that the signals within and between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland appear to be disrupted by long-term, low-dose lead exposure.

PubMed ID: 12204820 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Administration, Oral; Animals; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Gene Expression Regulation*; Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone/biosynthesis*; Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone/pharmacology; Lead/administration & dosage; Lead/adverse effects*; Luteinizing Hormone/biosynthesis*; Luteinizing Hormone/pharmacology; Male; RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis; RNA, Messenger/drug effects; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley

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