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Effect of mixing two environmental stressors, pH and metal contaminants, on offspring of rats exposed during gestation and lactation



Effect of mixing two environmental stressors, pH and metal contaminants, on offspring of rats exposed during gestation and lactation



Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 25(35): 35555-35561



In large urban centers, the toxicity of metal mixtures may be enhanced by physicochemical factors and environmental variables, including pH. Rio Grande, a municipality located in the extreme south of Brazil, has soils with high levels of contamination due to urban and industrial activities and a high prevalence of acid rain events. Previous studies have shown that contact with elutriate of these soils can cause physiological and reproductive changes. Thus, the objective of the present study was to evaluate, through animal experimentation, the effects of a metal-contaminated soil, acidified by hydrofluoric acid at two different pH values (5.2 and 3.6), on the health of offspring of rats exposed during gestation and lactation. Female Wistar rats were gavaged daily for 42 days (gestation and breastfeeding) with soil elutriate contaminated with metals, using solvent with different pH values (6.0, 5.2, and 3.6). The following parameters were evaluated in their offspring: body and organ weight, length, appearance of developmental characteristics, and swimming. Experimental groups in which the progenitors were exposed to the solution at pH 3.6 exhibited a delayed increase in weight as well as motor deficit, with a decreased weight (onset) and length (beginning and end), while exposure in association with soil was an aggravating factor for the damages to the body. Exposure to the solution at pH 5.2 decreased the initial weight of the animals, impaired some parameters of weight development, and caused motor deficit on the 14th day. These novel findings reveal that the exposure of progenitors to environmental stressors can compromise the health of the offspring. Special attention should be given to populations living in areas with high prevalence of acid rain.

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Accession: 065765591

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PMID: 30353427

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-018-3495-8


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