Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 105, Issue 1–3, pp 159–170 | Cite as

Spatial distribution of lead in enamel and coronal dentine of wistar rats

  • Manish Arora
  • Sheena W. Y. Chan
  • Chris G. Ryan
  • Brendan J. Kennedy
  • D. Murray Walker
Original Articles


Lead is one of the most hazardous environmental toxins known. The assessment of lead in dental hard tissues is important in the understanding of its to xic effects on oral tissues and in estimating exposure and body burden in individuals exposed to lead from the environment. However, current information on the uptake and distribution of lead in enamel and dentine is limited. The aim of this project was to study, at high resolution, the spatial distribution of lead in enamel and coronal dentine using an experimental rat model. A dose of 40 mg/L of lead nitrate was administered to pregnant femake rats during the periods of gestation and lactation through drinking water. First mandibular molar teeth were removed from their 15-d-old pups and the distribution of lead was studied using a nuclear microprobe (NMP). The distribution of lead in enamel and coronal dentine showed four distinct zones with significantly different mean lead concentrations (p<0.05). High levels of lead were observed in the superficial regions of enamel and in the dentine directly adjacent to the pulp. Additionally, the results confirmed that the NMP is capable of mapping the distribution of lead in teeth at micron resolutions with a detection limit of approx 1 μg/g.

Index Entries

Lead enamel dentine Wistar rats nuclear microprobe 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manish Arora
    • 1
  • Sheena W. Y. Chan
    • 1
  • Chris G. Ryan
    • 2
  • Brendan J. Kennedy
    • 3
  • D. Murray Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, Faculty of DentistryUniversity of SydneyWentworthvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Exploration and MiningCSIRONorth RydeAustralia
  3. 3.School of ChemistryUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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