Acute effects of lead, mercury and manganese on the central and peripheral nervous system in rats in combination with alcohol exposure

András Papp, László Pecze, Tünde Vezér

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Heavy metals, due to their numerous applications in industrial processes, agrochemicals and household articles, have caused a widespread pollution and can be found in different foods. One of their target organs is the central nervous system. The toxic effects of heavy metals can be modified by lifestyle-originated factors such as consumption of alcohol. The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in spontaneous cortical activity (ECoG), cortical sensory evoked potentials (EPs) and peripheral nerve action potentials, recorded in rats pre-treated with alcohol and acutely treated with lead, mercury and manganese by intraperitoneal injection. In the ECoG, Hg2+ caused a massive shift to lower frequencies while the effect of Mn2+ and Pb2+ was slight, and alcohol pre-treatment altered the effect of the metals minimally. The amplitude of EPs increased upon the application of heavy metals, and the peak latency lengthened. The effect of Hg2+ was the strongest and that of Pb2+ the weakest, and these effects were potentiated by alcohol. Exposure to heavy metals, together with alcohol consumption, can aggravate the known neurotoxic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalArhiv za Higijenu Rada i Toksikologiju
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Cortical activity
  • Heavy metals
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Peripheral activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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