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Teratology. 1989 Jan;39(1):19-30.

Cadmium exposure on day 12 of gestation in the Wistar rat: distribution, uteroplacental blood flow, and fetal viability.

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Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York 14642.


The effects of cadmium exposure (40 mumole CdCl2/kg, s.c.) on day 12 of gestation were evaluated in the Wistar rat. At 16-18 hours following such cadmium exposure, blood flow (as determined by radiolabeled microspheres) to the chorioallantoic placenta (CAP) was significantly reduced by 35%; at 24-26 hours, blood flow to the CAP had returned to control levels and was still unaffected at 38-43 hours. Uterine blood flow was not significantly altered at any of these timepoints. Between 16-18 and 24-26 hours after cadmium exposure, the concentration of cadmium in the placenta decreased significantly, while total cadmium content did not change. By 38-43 hours after cadmium exposure, total cadmium content of the placenta had increased significantly, although cadmium concentration was unchanged. There were no adverse effects on fetal viability or growth, as determined on day 20 of gestation. In sharp contrast, near-term (day 18) exposure to 40 or 50 mumole CdCl2/kg (s.c.) resulted in 53% and 82% mean incidences of fetolethality, respectively, within 24 hours. Administration of 50 mumole CdCl2/kg (sc) on day 12 also had no effect on fetal growth but resulted in increased fetolethality (12%). Thus midgestational cadmium exposure and its accompanying alterations in placental blood flow do not compromise fetal viability or growth. The differential response to cadmium at mid- and late gestation, in terms of fetolethality, is not due to maternal cadmium dose.

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