Document Type : Original Article
HISTOLOGY DEPARTMENT, ZAHEDAN MEDICAL SCIENCES UNIVERSITY, ZAHEDAN, IRAN
Introduction: Lead is one of the heavy metals that have adverse effects on blood cellsand hemopoiesis. In this study the ultrastructure of neutrophils in fetal rat spleen wereinvestigated following lead intoxication.
Material and Methods: Thirty female and 6 male Sprague-Dawley rats were chosenby simple random sampling. After mating the pregnant rats were classified into test and controlgroups. From the first day of pregnancy the test group was provided ad lib with watercontaining 0.13% lead acetate and the control group had access to distilled water. After birth 10newborn in each group were chosen by systematic random sampling. The spleens of thenewborn rats were fixed in a solution of 2% glutaraldehyde, and after processing, sections werestudied by a transmission electron microscope.
Results: The ultrastructural changes included: irregular nuclei with deep invagination,plasma membrane pockets, presence of vacuoles with a heterogeneous material and anincreasing incidence of rough endoplasmic reticulum with dilated cisternae. No differencesbetween the groups were observed in the mitochondrial morphology and pattern of cytoplasmicgranules (primary granules with electron dense appearance and specific or secondary granuleswith less electron density and heterogeneous appearance).
Conclusion: Lead transmitted via the placenta can affect the ultrastructure, and mostprobably the function, of fetal neutrophils. More attention must be given to the dangers of leadpollution of the environment and the need to eliminate exposure to lead in work places.