The Effects of In Utero and Lactational Exposure to Chloroform on Postnatal Growth and Glucose Tolerance in Male Wistar Rats
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Water chlorination results in the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) including chloroform. In human stud-ies, fetal growth restriction has been associated with exposure to THMs during pregnancy and impaired fetal growth has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of in utero and lactational exposure to chloroform on birthweight and postnatal indicators of type 2 diabetes. Female Wistar rats were given chloroform (0 microg/L, 75 microg/L) in their drinking water for 2 wk prior to mating until parturition (in utero exposure only) or until weaning (in utero+lactational exposure). At postnatal d 1 (PND1) pups of dams exposed to chloroform had significantly higher serum glucose levels and lower insulin levels, but this effect was not due to b-cell depletion in the neonatal pancreas. Glucose homeostasis in response to a glucose challenge was not changed by chloroform treatment. Chloroform exposure did not affect birthweight; however, offspring of dams exposed to chloroform had significantly impaired postnatal growth. Although fetal and neonatal exposure to chloroform did not elicit physiological changes associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes, there were physiological changes resulting in impaired postnatal growth.
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