A study on behavioral, neurotoxicological, and immunotoxicological effects of subchronic arsenic treatment in rats

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Abstract

Male Wistar rats were treated for 4, 8, and 12 wk with 3.33, 6.66, 13.3, or 26.6 mg/kg of inorganic arsenic (NaAsO2) per os by garage. Changes in behavioral and electrophysiological parameters (spontaneous open-field exploration; electrocorticogram mean frequency and power spectrum; latency and duration of somatosensory, visual, and auditory evoked potentials; conduction velocity; and relative and absolute refractory period of a peripheral nerve) were determined. Treated rats exhibited hypoactivity of horizontal ambulation in the open field and showed depressed rates of grooming. The electrophysiological data, recorded from anesthetized rats, did not show any significant dose- and time-dependent changes. Changes in humoral immune response, tested after 4 wk of treatment, were not marked. The weight of organs responsible for immune response (thymus, spleen, adrenals), was significantly reduced, as were delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction and mean cell volume (MCV) of red blood cells a hematological parameter. Plaque-forming cell (PFC) assay proved to be insensitive in this short-time exposure. These results suggest that subchronic low-level exposure to arsenic can affect immune responses and/or spontaneous behavior of rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1193
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A
Volume65
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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