Hematology, antioxidant, and certain biochemical indices in brain, liver, and testicular tissues of rat off-springs were studied after lactational cadmium exposure. Lactating Sprague–Dawley females received either 0 ppb (control) or 20 ppm cadmium chloride in their drinking water during the lactational period. On day 24, the pups were weaned and sacrificed. Distortion of hemopoietic features such as decrease in red blood cells count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelet values were seen in the exposed pups. Increased lipid peroxidation and depressed antioxidant defense levels in brain, liver and testes of the exposed rat pups were observed. Serum activities of alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase showed a significant increase, whereas a reduction was observed in the level of testosterone hormone in exposed pups. Cadmium induced neuronal degeneration, necrosis in hepatocytes, and degeneration in seminiferous tubules. These findings indicated that lactational exposure to cadmium can disrupt several organ functions in newborn rat pups.
Lactational cadmium; Platelets; Antioxidant system, Lactate dehydrogenase; Testosterone; Cerebral cortex.