Effects of excess maternal thyroxin on the bones of rat offspring from birth to the post-weaning period

ABSTRACT Objective To evaluate, in rat offspring, bone changes induced by excess maternal thyroxin during pregnancy and lactation, and to assess the reversibility of these changes after weaning. Material and methods Twenty Wistar rats were distributed in two groups, hyperthyroid and control, that were treated daily with L-thyroxin (50 mcg/animal) and placebo, respectively. The treatment was initiated seven days before mating and continued throughout pregnancy and lactation. From every female of each of the two groups, two offspring were euthanized after birth, two at 21 days of age (weaning), and two at 42 days of age (21 days after weaning). In newborns, the length of pelvic and thoracic limbs were measured, and in the other animals, the length and width of the femur and humerus were measured. Bones were dissected, decalcified, embedded in paraffin, and analyzed histomorphometrically. Results Excess maternal thyroxin significantly reduced the length of the pelvic limb in neonates. In 21-day-old individuals, excess maternal thyroxine reduced the length and the width of the femur and the humerus. It also increased thickness of the epiphyseal plate and the percentage of trabecular bone tissue. In 42-day-old individuals, there were no significant differences between groups in relation to the parameters evaluated in the previous periods. Conclusion Excess maternal thyroxine reduced growth in suckling rats both at birth and at weaning, and it also increased the percentage of trabecular bone tissue in 21-day-old animals. These changes, however, were reversible at 42 days, i.e., 21 days after weaning. Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2016;60(2):130-7