Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 182, Issue 2, pp 278–286 | Cite as

Ascorbic Acid Ameliorates Gestational Lead Exposure-Induced Developmental Alteration in GAD67 and c-Kit Expression in the Rat Cerebellar Cortex

  • Sung Min Nam
  • Sung Chuel Ahn
  • Tae-Hun Go
  • Jin Seok Seo
  • Sang-Soep Nahm
  • Byung-Joon Chang
  • Jong-Hwan LeeEmail author


In the present study, we investigated the effects of ascorbic acid on lead-exposed developing cerebellum. Female rats were divided into the following three groups: control (distilled water), lead (0.2% lead acetate), and lead plus ascorbic acid (100 mg/kg/day, 10% solution). To evaluate the effect of lead exposure and ascorbic acid treatment accurately on the cerebellar development for the gestational period, we halted further treatment with lead and ascorbic acid in the dams after delivery of the pups. Although the ascorbic acid slightly decreased the lead level in pups, lead level was still high in the group treated with lead plus ascorbic acid group compared with the control group. The blood lead levels indicated that the ascorbic acid could facilitate both the excretion and transfer of lead from a dam to its pups via milk. At postnatal day 21, lead exposure significantly reduced the number of Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex of pups. Additionally, lead treatment induced degenerative changes such as reduction of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) and c-kit expressions are observed in the developing cerebellar cortex. In the cerebellum of the pups from the lead plus ascorbic acid group, reduction of the number of Purkinje cells, GAD67 expression, and c-kit immunopositivity were remarkably restored compared with the lead group. Our present results suggested that ascorbic acid treatment to lead-exposed dam exerted protective effects on the developing cerebellum against lead-induced neurotoxicity.


Lead Ascorbic acid Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) c-Kit Cerebellum Rat 



This research was supported by the faculty research fund of Konkuk University in 2009.

Authors’ Contributions

SMN, SCA, THG, JSS, and JHL conceived and conducted the experiments, and collected the data. SMN and JHL analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. SSN and BJC participated in designing and discussing the study. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Min Nam
    • 1
  • Sung Chuel Ahn
    • 1
  • Tae-Hun Go
    • 1
  • Jin Seok Seo
    • 1
  • Sang-Soep Nahm
    • 1
  • Byung-Joon Chang
    • 1
  • Jong-Hwan Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary MedicineKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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