The effects on fetal brain development in the rat of a severely iodine deficient diet derived from an endemic area: observations on the first generation

J Q Li, X Wang, Y Q Yan, K W Wang, D K Qin, Z F Xin, J Wei

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Rats were fed on a severely iodine deficient diet (iodine content 4.5 micrograms/100 g) similar to that being consumed by people living in a village with a high rate of endemic cretinism. After a period of 4 months, the thyroid and brain were studied in the adult and their fetuses at 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 days of gestation, and in postnatal animals at 1, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 60 days of age. By comparison with a control group (diet with iodine content 54.7 micrograms/100 g) the experimental group showed marked goitres, a higher uptake of 125I by the thyroid, reduced serum T4, and reduction in brain weight. The cerebral and cerebellar histological findings showed that the density of brain cells had increased, and the mean neuron size was reduced. Furthermore, disappearance of the cerebellar EGL was delayed. These findings indicate that this animal model is likely to be suitable for the studies of endemic cretinism in man.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-76
Number of pages16
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1985



  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Female
  • Iodine
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Pregnancy
  • Purkinje Cells
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Thyroid Gland
  • Thyroxine
  • Triiodothyronine

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