Perinatal boric acid exposure causes growth restriction in rats
Researchers from the Division of the National Toxicology Program studied the effects of gestational and postnatal boron exposure on developing rat pups. The researchers were the first to show that pups exposed to an oxidized form of boron commonly found in the environment called boric acid gained significantly less weight during postnatal development.
Boron is essential for development, but excess exposure can have detrimental effects. Humans are exposed to boron primarily through diet and drinking water. Some infants are potentially exposed when drinking water is used to reconstitute formula. The scientists performed the research because no previous studies had assessed the potential for boron-mediated toxicity during early postnatal development.
Pregnant rats were exposed to varying concentrations of boric acid once daily by oral gavage dosing, a technique that administered it directly to the stomach. Food intake, body weight, boron blood plasma levels, and any signs of morbidity were evaluated during gestation. After birth, the pups received boric acid at the same concentration as their mothers, and the same parameters were monitored in the pups for the next 28 days. The researchers found the pups that received the highest dose of boric acid had a 23% reduction in weight gain. (VP)
Citation: Watson ATD, Sutherland VL, Cunny H, Miller-Pinsler L, Furr J, Hebert C, Collins B, Waidyanatha S, Smith L, Vinke T, Aillon K, Xie G, Shockley KR, McIntyre BS. 2020. Postnatal effects of gestational and lactational gavage exposure to boric acid in the developing Sprague Dawley rat. Toxicol Sci; doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfaa061 [Online 11 May 2020].