Some Teratogenic Outcomes in Rats Exposed to Zinc Chloride Pre and Post Pregnancy

Main Article Content

Abdul-Rahman Zaher
Falah M AL-Rekabi
Saad Akram Hatif


The aim of present study was to evaluate the possibility of teratogenicity in rats when exposed to zinc chloride (ZnCl2) pre and post pregnancy. To achieve this goal, a total of 40 mature Albino Wistar female rats were divided equally into four groups as follows: T1, dosed 0.7 mg/day ZnCl2 for two months before mating and till to the day 5th of pregnancy, the females of this group were mated with males dosed 0.7 mg/day ZnCl2 for two weeks before mating; T2, dosed 0.7 mg/day ZnCl2 for two months before mating and till to the day 16th of pregnancy and then were mated with control males (not exposed to any level of ZnCl2); T3, dosed 0.7mg/day ZnCl2 for two months before mating and till the end of pregnancy and were mated with control males; Control, dosed with water free from ZnCl2 along the period of experiment and were mated with control males. At the end of each pregnancy phase, results revealed that alpha fetoprotein serum levels were significantly (P<0.05) higher in all treatment groups compared to the control group, and the most prominent increase was observed in the T3 group. All treatment groups showed a significant (P<0.05) decrease in gestation, viability, and lactation indices when compared to the control group, with the T3 group showing the most significant decrease. Additionally, on days 1, 4, 7, 14, and 21 of lactation period, there was a significant (P<0.05) decrease in mean pup body weights in treated groups compared to the control group, with T3 group having the most prominent body weight decrease. The findings of this study revealed that ZnCl2 at a daily dose of 0.7 mg may cause teratogenic defects in rats at various stages of pregnancy, particularly at the third stage. As high-risk groups, pregnant women and children should use Zn supplementation carefully, whether as a food additive or for self-medication. Simultaneously, evaluating effect of low-dose Zn supplementation over a longer duration is required.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Zaher, A.-R. ., AL-Rekabi, F. M. ., & Akram Hatif, S. . (2022). Some Teratogenic Outcomes in Rats Exposed to Zinc Chloride Pre and Post Pregnancy. The Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 45(2), 41–45.


Briffa J, Sinagra E, Blundell R. Heavy metal pollution in the environment and their toxicological effects on humans. Heliyon. 2020; 6(9): e04691. DOI:

Engwa GA, Ferdinand PU, Nwalo FN, Unachukwu MN. Mechanism and health effects of heavy metal toxicity in humans. In: Karcioglu O, Arslan B, editors. Poisoning in the modern world – new tricks for an old dog? London, UK: IntechOpen; 2019. p. 1-23.

Aldayel AM, O'Mary HL, Valdes SA, Li X, Thakkar SG, Mustafa BE, et al. Lipid nanoparticles with minimum burst release of TNF-α siRNA show strong activity against rheumatoid arthritis unresponsive to methotrexate. J Control Release. 2018; 283: 280-289. DOI:

Fallah A, Mohammad-Hasani A, Colagar AH. Zinc is an essential element for male fertility: a review of Zn roles in men's health, germination, sperm quality, and fertilization. J Reprod Infertil. 2018; 19(2): 69-81.

Hempe JM, Cousins RJ. Cysteine-rich intestinal protein and intestinal metallothionein: An inverse relationship as a conceptual model for zinc absorption in rats. J Nutr. 1992; 122: 89-95. DOI:

Goff JP. Invited review: Mineral absorption mechanisms, mineral interactions that affect acid–base and antioxidant status, and diet considerations to improve mineral status. J Dairy Sci. 2018; 101(4): 2763-2813. DOI:

Wilson RL, Leemaqz SY, Goh Z, McAninch D, Jankovic-Karasoulos T, Leghi GE, et al. Zinc is a critical regulator of placental morphogenesis and maternal hemodynamics during pregnancy in mice. Sci. Rep. 2017; 7(1): 51-57. DOI:

Grzeszczak K, Kwiatkowski S, Kosik-Bogacka D. The role of Fe, Zn, and Cu in pregnancy. Biomolecules. 2020; 10(8): 1176-1180. DOI:

Ajayi AF, Akhigbe RE. Staging of the estrous cycle and induction of estrus in experimental rodents: an update. Fertil Res Pract. 2020; 6: 5. DOI:

Seregni E, Massimino M, Nerini Molteni S, Pallotti F, van der Hiel B, Cefalo G, et al. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in intracranial germ cell tumors. Int J Biol Markers. 2002; 17(2): 112-118. DOI:

Klaassen CD, editor. Casarett and Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons. 7th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2008. 1331 p.

Marty MS, Neal BH, Zablotny CL, Yano BL, Andrus AK, Woolhiser MR, Boverhof DR, Saghir SA, Perala AW, Passage JK, Lawson MA, Bus JS, Lamb JC 4th, Hammond L. An F1-extended one-generation reproductive toxicity study in Crl:CD (SD) rats with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Toxicol Sci. 2013; 136(2): 527-547. DOI:

Snedecor G, Cochran W. Statistical methods. 8th edition. Iowa State University Press; 1989. 503 p.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Public health statement zinc. Atlanta, GA: Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2005.

Broun E, Greist A, Tricot G, Hoffman R. Excessive zinc ingestion. JAMA 1990; 264: 1441–3. DOI:

Johnson E, Gilbreath L, Ogden TC, Graham S, Gorham. Reproductive and developmental toxicities of zinc supplemented rats. Repro Toxicol. 2011; 31(2): 134-143. DOI:

Jackson MJ, Giugliano R, Giugliano LG, Oliveira EF, Shrimpton R, Swainbank IG. Stable isotope metabolic studies of zinc nutrition in slum-dwelling lactating women in the Amazon valley. Brit J Nutr. 1988; 59(2): 193-203. DOI:

Moser-Veillon PB, Patterson KY, Veillon C. Zinc absorption is enhanced during lactation. FASEB J. 1996; 10: A729 (abstract).

Fung EB, Ritchie LD, Woodhouse LR, Roehl R, King JC. Zinc absorption in women during pregnancy and lactation: a longitudinal study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997; 66(1): 80–88. DOI:

Khan AT, Graham TC, Ogden L, Ali S, Salwa, Thompson SJ. A two generational reproductive toxicity study of zinc in rats. J Environ Sci Health B. 2007; 42: 403–415. DOI:

Piao F, Yokoyama K, Ma N, Yamauchi T. Subacute toxic effects of zinc on various tissues and organs of rats. Toxicol Lett. 2003; 145: 28–35. DOI:

Pal N, Pal B. Zinc feeding and conception in the rats. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1987; 57: 437-440.

Zaporowska H, Wasilewski W. Combined effect of vanadium and zinc on certain selected hematological indices in rats. Comp Biochem Physiol. 1992; 103(1): 143-147. DOI:

Michie MW, Angerhofer RA, Barlow MP, Beall PA. Phase 5, Effects of ingestion of zinc naphthenate on reproductive function of rats. National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Technical Report (NTIS/AD-A235-224): 1991; 33: 211-221.

Khitam SS, Alhtheal ED, Azhar JB. Effect of zinc oxide nanoparticals preparation from zinc sulphate (ZnSO4) against gram negative or gram positive microorganisms in vitro. Iraqi J. Vet. Med. 2018; 42(1): 18-22. DOI: