Dietary calcium and lead interact to modify maternal blood pressure, erythropoiesis, and fetal and neonatal growth in rats during pregnancy and lactation

J. D. Bogden, F. W. Kemp, S. Han, M. Murphy, M. Fraiman, D. Czerniach, C. J. Flynn, M. L. Banua, A. Scimone, L. Castrovilly, S. B. Gertner

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47 Scopus citations

Abstract

We studied the effects of dietary calcium and lead exposure on lead toxicity, fetal and neonatal growth, erythropoiesis and blood pressure during pregnancy and lactation in rats. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 43) were randomly assigned to one of six treatment groups of 7-8 rats each. Half of the rats were fed diets of low (0.1%), normal (0.5%) or high (2.5%) calcium as calcium carbonate and exposed to 250 mg/L of lead in their drinking water for the duration of the pregnancy and for 1 wk of lactation. Three control groups were fed the same diets without lead exposure. Pups were studied at 1 d and 1 wk of age. Maternal and fetal blood and organ samples from the groups fed the low calcium diet had the highest lead concentrations, whereas the lowest lead concentrations were found in the groups fed the high calcium diet. Dam and pup hemoglobin concentrations, hematocrits, and body weights and lengths were reduced by lead exposure and by the high calcium diet. The latter also reduced organ iron concentrations and prevented lead-induced increases in free erythrocyte protoporphyrin. Dam systolic blood pressures during the third trimester of gestation were significantly higher in rats exposed to lead and fed the low calcium diet than in rats in the other five treatment groups. The results demonstrate that dietary calcium and lead exposure interact in rats to influence maternal blood pressure, erythropoiesis, and fetal and neonatal growth during pregnancy and lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-1002
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume125
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Keywords

  • blood pressure
  • calcium
  • lead
  • pregnancy
  • rats

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