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Lead Bone Toxicity in Growing Rats Exposed to Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia


Lead chronic intoxication under hypoxic conditions revealed growth retardation in growing rats and damages on femoral and mandibular bones that predispose to fractures. These findings aimed us to investigate if bone material and geometric properties, bone mass in terms of histomorphometry or antioxidant capacity are also impaired in such experimental model. Combined treatments significantly reduced hemimandible cross sectional geometry and intrinsic stiffness (−16 % and −34 %); tibia and hemimandible bone volume (−45 % and −40 %) and growth plate cartilage thickness (−19 %). These results show a previously unreported toxic effect of lead on mandible however, longer studies should be necessary to evaluate if an adaptation of bone architecture to maintain structural properties may occur and if the oxidative stress can be identified as the primary contributory agent in the pathogenesis of lead poisoning.

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The authors acknowledge the collaboration of physiology laboratory technicians Graciela M. Champin and Elsa Lingua, Department of Physiology, School of Dentistry, University of Buenos Aires. This work was supported by research grants from University of Buenos Aires (UBACyT 20020090200013).

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Correspondence to María I. Conti.

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Conti, M.I., Bozzini, C., Facorro, G.B. et al. Lead Bone Toxicity in Growing Rats Exposed to Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 693–698 (2012).

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  • Lead poisoning
  • Intermittent hypoxia
  • Bone biomechanics
  • Bone histomorphometry
  • Oxidative stress