Hematologic and trace element alterations following chronic maternal ingestion of propylthiourea

R. E. Shrader, Carl L Keen, L. S. Hurley, F. J. Zeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Rats with diets containing 0.2% propylthiouracil (PTU) throughout gestation had progeny with persistent cyanosis and high neonatal mortality. Histological and histochemical studies failed to reveal lung abnormalities in these pups. Studies of the blood of PTU-fed dams demonstrated that hemoglobin, packed cell volume, and numbers of erythrocytes were significantly reduced. In their 21-day fetal young, erythrocytopenia was accompanied by an elevated mean corpuscular volume and a reduced mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. Imprints of marrow from dams and of liver and spleens of the young showed normoblastic erythropoiesis. A granulocytic leucocytosis was present in the blood of the PTU-fed dams, whereas their progeny had a granulocytopenic leucopenia. Tissue concentrations of copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium and iron were determined. The most striking changes observed were the significant elevations of copper in the dams' brain, liver and kidneys. No changes in the concentration of any of the trace minerals were found in the livers of the pups. Food restriction to the dam failed to significantly alter maternal or fetal hematologic or trace element concentrations as compared with controls. It is evident that PTU, when fed to pregnant rats, has demonstrable effects on erythropoiesis, granulocytopoiesis, and maternal trace element distribution. It is not presently known whether these phenomena are interrelated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Transplantation


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