Neurochemical Research

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 605–616 | Cite as

Effect of inorganic lead exposure on myelination in the rat

  • Arrel D. Toews
  • Martin R. Krigman
  • David J. Thomas
  • Pierre Morell
Original Articles


The effect of defined lead burdens on myelination of the central and peripheral nervous systems was studied in neonatal Long-Evans rats. Pups were exposed to inorganic lead (100 or 400 mg Pb as lead acetate/kg body wt/day by gastric intubation) from day 2 following birth to 30 days of age. Accumulation of myelin in forebrain was not affected by the 100-mg dosage, but at the 400 mg/kg dosage level, myelin accumulation was reduced by approximately 42% on a per gram forebrain basis relative to vehicle-intubated animals. The deficit was over 50% on a per forebrain basis, since there was also a slight reduction in brain weight. This lead effect was observed at both 15 and 30 days of age. Accumulation of myelin in optic nerve (determined on the basis of proteolipid protein concentration) was also reduced by 30% relative to controls by this dosage level. However, myelination in sciatic nerve (determined on the basis of P0 protein concentration) was not affected by this exposure regimen. Myelin deficits were greater than could be accounted for by undernutrition arising secondary to lead exposure and were not due to a developmental delay in the onset of myelination.


Optic Nerve Dosage Level Sciatic Nerve Developmental Delay Peripheral Nervous System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Adams, D. H., andOsborne, J. 1973. A developmental study of the relationship between the protein components of rat CNS myelin. Neurobiology 3:91–112.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Banik, N. L., andSmith, M. E. 1977. Protein determinants of myelination in different regions of developing rat central nervous system. Biochem. J. 162:247–255.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brashear, C. W., Kopp, V. J., andKrigman, M. R. 1978. Effect of lead on the developing peripheral nervous system. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 37:414–425.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Drummond, G. I., Eng, D. Y., andMcIntosh, C. A. 1971. Ribonucleoside 2′,3′-cyclic phosphate diesterase activity and cerebroside levels in vertebrate and invertebrate nerve. Brain Res. 28:153–163.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ediger, R. D., andColeman, R. L. 1972. Modified Delves cup atomic absorption procedures for the determination of lead in blood. Atomic Absorp. Newslett. 11:33.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Grant, L. D., Breese, G., Howard, J. L., Krigman, M. R., andMushak, P., 1976. Neurobiology of lead-intoxication in the developing rat. Fed. Proc. 35:503.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Greenfield, S., Brostoff, S., Eylar, E. H., andMorell, P. 1973. Protein composition of the peripheral nervous system. J. Neurochem. 20:1207–1216.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Greenfield, S., Norton, W. T., andMorell, P. 1971. Quaking mouse: Isolation and characterization of myelin protein. J. Neurochem. 18:2119–2128.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jones, D. H., andMatus, A. I. 1975. Changes in protein content of developing brain synaptic membranes, mitochondria and myelin. Neurosci. Lett. 1:153–158.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kolber, A. R., Krigman, M. R. andMorell, P. 1980. The effect of in vitro and in vivo lead intoxication on monosaccharide transport in isolated rat brain microvessels. Brain Res. (in press).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Konat, G., Offner, H., andClausen, J. 1976. Triethyllead-restrained myelin deposition and protein synthesis in the developing rat forebrain. Exp. Neurol. 52:58–65.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Krigman, M. R., andHogan, E. L. 1974. Effect of lead intoxication on the postnatal growth of the rat nervous system. Environ. Health Perspec. 11:187–199.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Krigman, M. R., andHogan, E. L. 1976. Undernutrition in the developing rat: Effect upon myelination. Brain Res. 107:239–255.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Krigman, M. R., Druse, M. J., Taylor, T. D., Wilson, M. H., Newell, L. R., andHogan, E. L. 1974. Lead encephalopathy in the developing rat: Effect upon myelination. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 33:58–73.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Krigman, M. R., Traylor, D. T., Hogan, E. L., andMushak, P. 1974. Subcellular distribution of lead in the brains of intoxicated and control rats. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 33:562 (abstract).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Krigman, M. R., Mushak, P., andBouldin, T. W. 1978. An appraisal of rodent models of lead encephalopathy. Pages 299–302,in Roizin, L., Shiraki, H. andGrcevic, N. (eds.), Neurotoxicology, Vol. I, Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kurihara, T., Nussbaum, J. L., andMandel, P. 1971. 2′,3′-Cyclic nucleotide 3′-phosphohydrolase in purified myelin from brain of jimpy and normal young mice. Life Sci. 10(2):421–429.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. J., Farr, A. L., andRandall, R. J. 1951. Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. J. Biol. Chem. 193:265–275.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Maizel, J. V., Jr., 1971. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of viral proteins. Methods Virol. 5:179–246.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Morell, P., Greenfield, S., Constantinio-Ceccarini, E., andWisniewski, H. 1972. Changes in the protein composition of mouse brain myelin during development. J. Neurochem. 19:2545–2554.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Norton, W. T., andPoduslo, S. E. 1973. Myelination in rat brain: Method of myelin isolation. J. Neurochem. 21:749–757.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Norton, W. T., andPoduslo, S. E. 1973. Myelin in rat brain: Changes in myelin composition during brain maturation. J. Neurochem. 21:759–773.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stowe, H. D., Goyer, R. A., Krigman, M. R., Wilson, M. H., andCares, M. 1973. Experimental oral lead toxicity in young dogs: Clinical and morphological effects. Arch. Pathol. 95:106–116.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tennekoon, G., Aitchison, C. S., Frangia, J., Price, D. L., andGoldberg, A. M. 1979. Chronic lead intoxication: Effects on developing optic nerve. Ann. Neurol. 5:558–564.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Toews, A. D., Horrocks, L. A., andKing, J. S. 1976. Simultaneous isolation of purified microsomal and myelin fractions from rat spinal cord. J. Neurochem. 27:25–31.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Toews, A. D., Kolber, A. R., Hayward, J., Krigman, M. R., andMorell, P. 1978. Experimental lead encephalopathy in the suckling rat: Concentration of lead in subcellular fractions enriched in brain capillaries. Brain Res. 147:131–138.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wiggins, R. C., Benjamins, J. A., andMorell, P. 1975. Appearance of myelin proteins in rat sciatic nerve during development. Brain Res. 89:99–106.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Wiggins, R. C., Miller, S. L., Benjamins, J. A., Krigman, M. R., andMorell, P. 1976. Myelin synthesis during postnatal nutritional deprivation and subsequent rehabilitation. Brain Res. 107:257–273.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zgorzalewicz, B., Neuhoff, V., andWaehneldt, T. V. 1974. Rat myelin proteins. Compositional changes in various regions of the nervous system during ontogenetic development. Neurobiology 4:265–276.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arrel D. Toews
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Martin R. Krigman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • David J. Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pierre Morell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and NutritionUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill
  3. 3.Biological Sciences Research Center-22OHUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill

Personalised recommendations