The impacts of individual and combined exposure to cadmium and lead on intraocular pressure, electroretinography, and residual changes in the rabbit eyes

  • Yasmina M. Abd-ElhakimEmail author
  • Khlood M. El Bohi
  • Nabela I. El Sharkawy
  • Manar A. Ghali
  • Sarah Haseeb
Research Article


The human eye is very vulnerable to various environmental pollutants. Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) are widely spread heavy metals. The goal of the existing study is to explore the impact of single or joint exposure to Cd and Pb on the eye indicators. In this study, male New Zealand white rabbits were treated orally for 30 days with Cd (5 mg Cd Cl2/kg bw) associated or not with Pb (12.5 mg lead acetate/kg bw). Fundus and slit lamp examinations, electroretinography (ERG), intraocular pressure (IOP), Cd and Pb residues, and the histopathological picture of the eye were studied. The results revealed that the oral dosing of Cd or Pb evoked a significant (p < 0.05) decline in a- and b-wave amplitudes, under scotopic conditions, and IOP values. Single Pb or Cd treatment showed a significant (p < 0.001) increase in their residues in the whole eye tissue of the Pb- or Cd-treated group. Eye structures of Cd- or Pb-intoxicated rabbit showed mild degenerated changes of cornea and sclera tissues with the presence of irregular variably sized eosinophilic droplets in the lens. Notably, the simultaneous exposure to Cd and Pb leads to an antagonistic outcome in all of the estimated parameters. These findings concluded that oral exposure to Cd or Pb could significantly disturb the vision but their joint exposure caused an opposing effect on nearly all of these disturbances.


Cadmium Lead Toxicity Eye Rabbit Electroretinography Applanation tonometry 



The authors are grateful to Prof. Dr. Sayed Rashad El-Attar, Professor of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, for his support in histopathological studies.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Statement of ethical approval

The Ethics of Animal Use in Research Committee (EAURC) of the university permitted all protocols comprising animals here. All experimental procedures were conducted following the Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of September 22, 2010, on the protection of animals used for scientific aims.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  2. 2.Ophthalmology Department, Faculty of MedicineZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt

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