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Behavioral deficits induced by lead exposure are accompanied by serotonergic and cholinergic alterations in the prefrontal cortex

AuthorsMansouri, Mohammad Taghi; Naghizadeh, Bahareh; López-Larrubia, Pilar ; Cauli, Omar
Issue Date2013
CitationNeurochemistry International 62(3): 232-239 (2013)
AbstractThe effects of long-term lead (Pb) exposure producing a blood Pb concentration of lower than 20 μg/dL, i.e. below that associated with overt neurological deficits in occupationally exposed individuals, was studied in adult rats. In order to assess gender differences, we performed parallel behavioral experiments in male and female rats. Exposure to Pb acetate (50 ppm in drinking water) for 6 months induced motor and cognitive alterations, however these effects were gender- and task-dependent. Chronic lead exposure impaired spatial learning assessed in the Morris water maze test (MWM) in both genders, whereas it only induced hyperactivity in the open field and impaired motor coordination in the rotarod test, only in male rats. Hyperactivity in male rats was accompanied by an increase in extracellular level of acetylcholine in the prefrontal cortex. Extracellular dopamine concentration in the prefrontal cortex was unaffected by lead exposure whereas serotonin concentration in the same brain area was significantly decreased in both male and female rats exposed to lead. These results unveil new molecular mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric alterations induced by chronic lead exposure. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2012.12.009
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2012.12.009
issn: 0197-0186
e-issn: 1872-9754
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