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Paper Details

Lead Toxicity and infertility in Female Swiss Mice: A Review

Nazera Qureshi and Ragini Sharma*

Journal Title:Journal of Chemical, Biological and physical sciences

Lead is one of the oldest known and most widely studied occupational and environmental toxicant. Lead is a metal, which has been associated with human activities from the past 6000 years. Today, lead is still used in batteries and some insecticides and is found in cigarette smoke. Sources of lead may be natural, as it is found in the earths crust and thus enters the food and water supply. Lead compounds are known to adversely affect the various mammalian systems. Reproductive toxicity, which can be defined as the adverse effect of chemicals, lead being one that can affect the gonadal structure and functions, can cause alterations in fertility and impaired gamete function. However reproductive toxicity is comparatively less expedited. The toxicant can also lead to induction of malformations in children, reduce chances of conception, may be embryocidal and cause still birth, or death of progeny. The toxic effects of lead on adult female reproduction are decreased fertility, the inability to sustain pregnancy and reduced pregnancy outcomes. There is a lack of information concerning whether environmental health effects are more or less prevalent or manifested differently in women compared to men. Previously, most research in the area of toxicology and environmental and occupational health involved male subjects. There is paucity of information about the direct actions of heavy metals on the female reproductive system, fertility and development. Unlike the testes, the ovary has not been as amenable to study; hence the present review aims to accomplish the lacuna by reviewing exposure and health effects of lead manifested in females.