Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. J. Lindsley Foote

Second Advisor

Dr. Mike McCarville

Third Advisor

Dr. Ralph Steinhaus

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of lead on the brain lipids of developing rats.

Lead acetate was added to the drinking water of two pregnant rats. A' control dam was maintained on the same diet without the lead. Following birth and weaning the lead concentration was reduced and an equal number of pups from each litter were sacrificed on days 19, 22, 26, 30, and 35 after birth. The brain lipids were isolated and fatty acid distribution analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography.

Variations in fatty acid distribution between the control and experimental pups were noted for palmitic and arachidonic acids. This difference was greatest in the younger pups but was diminished in the older pups.

These results are consistent with the idea that lead may cause abnormal brain growth as seen by a delay in brain maturation.