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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2000 Jan 14;59(1):27-42.

Embryotoxic and teratogenic effects of indium chloride in rats and rabbits.

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Jözsef Fodor National Center of Public Health, Budapest, Hungary.


Daily indium chloride doses of control (0), 50, 100, 200, or 400 mg/kg were administered orally to Sprague-Dawley rats by gavage, on d 6-15 of gestation, and daily metal doses of control (0), 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg were administered to New Zealand rabbits on d 6-20 of gestation. Further groups of pregnant rats were treated with control (0) or 400 mg/kg indium chloride orally on one of d 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 15 of gestation. The dams and fetuses were examined on d 21 (rats) and 30 (rabbits) of gestation, using standard teratological methods. Indium concentration was determined in the maternal and fetal blood, as well as in the amniotic fluid, by atomic absorption spectrometry. Indium was found to cross the placenta and appeared in fetal blood in proportion to the metal concentration of the maternal blood. In the amniotic fluid, indium concentrations remained below the detection limit. In rats, indium chloride produced dose-dependent maternal toxic effects, with a dose of 400 mg/kg inducing embryotoxicity (embryolethality) and teratogenicity. Doses of 200 and 100 mg/kg were embryotoxic (retarding) and teratogenic, causing skeletal and visceral anomalies in addition to external anomalies (rudimentary or missing tail, syndactylia, clubfoot, exencephalia) in rats. In rabbits, 200 mg/kg indium chloride was lethal for the dams and the embryos (some of the animals died, and the number of abortions and full resorptions increased). This dose was found to be teratogenic (caused gross renal anomalies) and increased the frequency of fetuses with skeletal retardation. In rats, the effects of indium chloride causing fetal retardation was found to be independent of exposure time. The teratogenic effects were the highest on d 11 and 12 of gestation, when indium chloride caused gross external malformations. Data suggest that the teratogenic effects of indium chloride can be attributed primarily to a direct cytotoxic action of indium resulting from placental transfer, but the effect is not a selective one, as it appears only in the presence of maternal toxic effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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