Maternal and developmental toxicity of chronic aluminum exposure in mice

Mari S. Golub, M. Eric Gershwin, James M. Donald, Scott Negri, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The present study demonstrated aluminum-induced neurotoxicity in mouse dams and developmental retardation in their offspring following oral exposure to several dose levels during gestation and lactation. Female mice fed aluminum lactate (AL) at levels of 500 or 1000 ppm in their diet from Day 0 gestation to Day 21 postpartum were compared to mice which received a 100 ppm aluminum diet either ad libitum or pair-fed to the 1000 ppm AL group. Dams receiving the 500 and 1000 ppm AL diets showed signs of neurotoxicity beginning at Days 12-15 postpartum and showed significant weight loss. Offspring showed dose-dependent decreases in body weight (F = 6.47, p < 0.001), crown-rump length (F = 7.37, p < 0.0001), and ponderal index (F = 6.90, p < 0.0002), at birth and preweaning. Absolute and relative liver and spleen weights were lower in pups from the high AL groups compared to controls (F = 3.34, p < 0.025 and F = 15.54, p < 0.001, respectively). Neurobehavioral development was somewhat delayed in aluminum-treated pups, but not in their pair-fed controls (F = 5.52, p < 0.005). In addition to showing oral toxicity of excess AL during development dose-dependent toxic effects of parenteral aluminum exposure were demonstrated in pregnant mice which were injected subcutaneously with aluminum lactate solution at 10, 20, or 40 mg Al/kg body wt on Days 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, and 15 of gestation. Maternal spleen and liver weights were significantly increased in aluminum treated animals (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively). Fetal crown-rump lengths were significantly reduced in the 20 mg/kg aluminum group (F = 9.79, p < 0.001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-357
Number of pages12
JournalFundamental and Applied Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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