The aim of the study was to evaluate the peripartum changes in the level of anterior pituitary hormones, due to iron deficiency anaemia and also to evaluate whether severe iron deficiency anaemia leads to postpartum pituitary changes.
The female albino rats of Wister strain were fed on iron deficient diets (30, 15, 7.2 mgFe/kg of diet) and control diets (50 mgFe/kg of diet). Prior to one month of mating the females were anaesthetised by ether and the tail blood was collected for the evaluation of blood haemoglobin and estimation of hormones. The rats were then kept for mating. The blood samples were again collected during 18th-20th day of gestation and after ten days of delivery the mothers were anaesthetised by ether and sacrificed. The cardiac blood was collected for the haematological measurements and hormone assays. The analysis of the adenohypophyseal hormones was done by RIA kits. The pituitaries were immediately fixed and H&E slides were prepared by microtomy. The hormones were compared in all the three stages i.e. before pregnancy (bp), during pregnancy (dp) and after delivery (ad), within the groups and between the groups by one way ANOVA.
A significant (P<0.05) difference in the levels of haemoglobin, PCV and hormones was observed when analysed by one way ANOVA within the group and between the groups in all the three stages (bp, dp and ad) with decreasing levels of iron in the diets. The two way ANOVA (between iron diets and stages i.e. before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after delivery) also showed a significant (P<0.05) change in the levels of ACTH, GH, TSH, FSH, LH and Prolactin. The level of TSH was very high in severely iron deficient mothers, Whereas very low ACTH, GH, FSH, LH and Prolactin were observed. The pituitary sections showed some necrosis in the cells of anterior pituitary in severely iron deficient mothers (7.2 mgFe/kg of diet). The severely iron deficient mothers could not lactate after delivery.
Severe iron deficiency anaemia may be the possible reason for the postpartum pituitary changes. This probably affects certain pituitary cells especially at the time of delivery.
06 - 07 Nov 2006
Society for Endocrinology