Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 393, Issue 2, pp 167–176 | Cite as

Thorium exerts hazardous effects on some neurotransmitters and thyroid hormones in adult male rats

  • Mona Abdel-Rahman
  • Mohamed M. RezkEmail author
  • Ahmed E. Abdel Moneim
  • Omar A. Ahmed-Farid
  • Safia Essam
Original Article


Assessment of the hazardous effects of thorium, a naturally radioactive element, on the nervous and endocrine systems, which are intimately involved in maintaining homeostasis, is important. In the present study, rats were divided into control and thorium groups and were decapitated after 2, 4, and 6 weeks. We observed that intraperitoneally injected thorium (6.3 mg/kg body weight) crossed the blood–brain barrier and was localized in the cerebellum, cerebral cortex, and hypothalamus of the rats in the given order. Thorium administration significantly decreased the GSH level and increased MDA, NO, and Fe3+ levels. Furthermore, thorium administration decreased NE and DA levels and induced fluctuations in 5-HT level. Thorium administration also increased serum TSH level, which in turn increased T4 and T3 levels. Together, these results indicate that thorium administration stimulates TSH secretion, which significantly increases T4 and T3 secretion from the thyroid gland. Moreover, these results indicate that thorium administration exerts hazardous effects on the neuroendocrine axis.


Thorium Neurotransmitters Thyroid Rats 


Authors’ contribution

MA, MR, and AE conceived and designed research. AE and SE conducted experiments. MR, AE, and OF contributed new reagents or analytical tools. SE, AE, and SE analyzed data. MA, MR, and AE wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

The investigation protocol was approved by the ethics committee of nuclear material authority, which is performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the US guidelines (NIH Publication no. 85-23, amended in 1985).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of ScienceHelwan UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Isotopes DepartmentNuclear Materials AuthorityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyNational Organization for Drug Control and Research (NODCAR)Shibin El KomEgypt

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