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Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015 May 15;8(5):7160-7. eCollection 2015.

Lead exposure causes thyroid abnormalities in diabetic rats.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, UAE University Al-Ain, UAE.
Department of Physiology, UAE University Al-Ain, UAE.
Department of Internal Medicine, UAE University Al-Ain, UAE.


Lead is a widely-spread environmental pollutant and a commonly-used industrial chemical that can cause multisystemic adverse health effects. However, the effects of lead exposure on diabetic animals have not been reported so far. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of lead exposure on thyroid, renal and oxidative stress markers in diabetic Wistar rats. Diabetes was induced with an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of streptozocin (STZ). Six weeks later, rats were exposed i.p. to either distilled water (control group) or 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg of lead acetate (treatment groups). We found a positive relationship between the administered doses of lead acetate and its measured levels in blood samples (P < 0.01). Treatment of diabetic animals with lead acetate resulted in significant weight loss (P < 0.001). It also caused an increase in thyroid stimulating hormone levels (P < 0.05) and reductions in thyroxine (P < 0.05) and triiodothyronine levels (P < 0.01), a clinical picture consistent with hypothyroidism. Lead acetate exposure increased urea levels (P < 0.05) and caused a significant decrease in creatinine (P < 0.05). Besides, while the concentrations of malondialdehyde were not affected, glutathione stores were depleted (P < 0.01); in response to lead exposure. In conclusion, exposure of diabetic rats to lead acetate resulted in weight loss, clinical hypothyroidism, renal damage and oxidative stress.


Lead; diabetes; rat; systemic toxicity; thyroid


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