, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 136-140

Response to acute nickel toxicity in rats as a function of sex

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The effects of different nickel chloride doses upon blood and plasma glucose and essential metal homeostasis were studied in male and female rats. A definite sex-dependent response to injections of nickel has been observed for both the increase in plasma and blood glucose levels and the time at which these levels peak. Males showed a fast recovery from the rise in glucose levels and were much less affected by changes in the other parameters studied. In females, an extended rise in glucose levels was observed. All these effects are clearly nickel dose-dependent. Plasma, liver and kidney copper levels rose significantly in females while only a small decrease was observed in male kidneys. Zinc levels rose in all organs studied but males recovered to basal levels after the study period, whereas females maintained maximum levels at the end of the same period. An increase in urinary excretion of iron was observed. The present results show that the sex differences to acute nickel toxicity can be a helpful way to study metal interaction and discriminate between specific toxicity due to nickel or that induced by the associated hyperglucagonemia.