Effects of combined exposure to lead and cadmium on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis function in proestrous rats

A. Pillai, L. Priya, Sarita Gupta

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57 Scopus citations


The effects of lead and cadmium on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis were studied in proestrous rats. Adult female rats were treated intraperitonially with either lead acetate and cadmium acetate alone or in combination at a dose of 0.05 mg/kg daily for 15 days. Serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) levels decreased in individually and combined metal treated groups whereas dopamine (DA) levels were decreased only in the cadmium-exposed group. The pituitary levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) were decreased significantly in cadmium and combined treatment groups. In contrast, lead exposure failed to cause any change in serum LH and FSH levels, whereas cadmium and combined treatments showed significant decrease in serum LH and FSH levels as compared with control. The accumulation of both metals increased in the hypothalamus and pituitary after treatment. These data suggest that the metal accumulation disrupts the regulatory mechanisms of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis where the effects produced by the combined treatment of metals are not additive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology

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