Maternal-fetal transport and disposition of copper, iron, molybdenum, selenium and zinc in experimentally induced diabetic rats.J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2006 Jan; 19(1):57-64.JM
To assess maternal-fetal status of essential trace elements such as copper, iron, molybdenum, selenium and zinc, in experimentally induced diabetic and control pregnant rats, and to correlate the findings with those observed in human diabetic pregnancies. Fetal-maternal ratios of the elements and Cu:Zn and Cu:Fe ratios were also computed in control and study groups.
Diabetes was experimentally induced in pregnant Sprague Dawley rats by injection of streptozotocin. A cocktail of essential trace elements along with antipyrine as internal reference marker were then injected intra-peritoneally to diabetic and matched control pregnant rats on the 20th day of pregnancy. Maternal and fetal blood and tissue samples were collected after sacrificing the animals at 30- and 60-minutes following cocktail injection. Concentrations of trace elements and antipyrine in various blood and tissue samples were then determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and colorimetry, respectively.
Concentrations of Cu, Fe, Mo, Se, Zn, and antipyrine averaged 2907.0 +/- 212.0 microg/L, 3950.0 +/- 766.0 microg/L, 15.8 +/- 1.7 microg/L, 74.8 +/- 6.5 microg/L, 726.4 +/- 67.4 microg/L, and 170.5 +/- 8.2 mg/L, respectively, in maternal blood in control pregnant rats (n = 5) at day 20 in the 30-minute study phase, while in the diabetic group (n = 5) the values of the various trace element concentrations and antipyrine averaged 2875.0 +/- 225.0 microg/L, 5875.0 +/- 688.0 microg/L, 21.2 +/- 2.1 microg/L, 116.0 +/- 3.6 microg/L, 753.0 +/- 71.3 microg/L, and 171.7 +/- 4.2 mg/L, respectively. Unpaired student's t-test showed that Fe and Se levels were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the diabetic pregnant rats compared to controls. Cu, Mo and Zn values, however, were not significantly different (p > 0.05) between the two groups. Cu:Zn and Cu:Fe ratios showed varying differences between maternal and fetal samples in the control and study groups.
Considering the disparity of results in pregnant diabetic rats and pregnant diabetic women, we urge exercising caution when comparing data from animal studies to human situations.