© 2016 The Author(s). The present study was conducted to determine the toxic dose response of a chronic dietary Zearalenone (ZEA) in weaned young rats. Sixty, 21-day-old, Sprague Dawley female rats were randomly allocated to five groups of four replicate cages containing three rats. Rats were fed diets with increasing amounts of ZEA (0, 0.5, 0.9, 1.8 and 3.6 mg/kg) for 4 weeks. Daily feed intake was reduced (P <.05) by feeding the ZEA diets with 0.9 and 3.6 mg ZEA/kg feed. Rats fed the diet containing 1.8 mg ZEA/kg increased (P <.05) the body weight gain (BWG) and reduced (P <.05) feed conversion rate (FCR) as compared to the control group. The two highest levels of dietary ZEA also increased (P <.05) the weight of the uterus. However, ovaries’ weight, timing of vaginal opening and the inter-oestrous interval were not affected by increasing the doses of dietary ZEA (P >.05). Similarly, serum concentrations of total protein, follicle-stimulating hormone and alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphate activities were not altered by the ZEA treatments. In conclusion, our results indicated that a chronic dietary consumption of ZEA at concentrations of 1.8 mg ZEA/kg increases the BWG and the uterus weight of weaning female rats.
- Weaning rats