Letter | Published:

Inherited disorders in the regulation of serum calcium in rats raised from parathyroidectomised mothers

Abstract

IN a series of experiments to study the influence of maternal endocrine dysfunction on the embryonic development in rats, we have found that the first generation (F1) rats born to parathyroidectomised (Px) mothers possess a slightly, but significantly, lower serum calcium level than in normal control rats1. Furthermore, the serum calcium level in the rats of the third or fourth generations (F3 or F4) developed by brother–sister mating was still at a subnormal level. To characterise calcium metabolism in these animals, the response of serum calcium to removal of the parathyroid gland was examined in the F1, F3 and F4 rats. We report here that F3 and F4 rats raised from mothers parathyroidectomised on the 5th day of pregnancy showed a less marked decline in serum calcium level following parathyroidectomy as shown in the first generation, suggesting that the functional alteration resulted from the intrauterine hypocalcaemia persists in subsequent generations.

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