Behavioral and neurotoxic effects seen during and after subchronic exposure of rats to organic mercury

Tünde Vezér, A. Papp, Anita Kurunczi, A. Párducz, Miklós Náray, L. Nagymajtényi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Young adult male Wistar rats (24/group) were treated for 5 weeks with methyl mercury(II)chloride (corresponding to 0.5 and 2.0 mgHg°/kg b.w., control: distilled water) by gavage, followed by a 19 weeks post-treatment period. Spontaneous motility, psychomotor performance and sensorimotor gating was repeatedly tested, electrophysiological recordings done, in the rats throughout the whole experiment. Decreased horizontal open field activity, reduced number of "noise positive" startle responses, as well as increase of startle response onset latency and peak time, and decrease of peak amplitude, was seen in the treated animals. Most changes disappeared in the post-treatment period. In the spontaneous cortical and hippocampal activity, altered distribution of the frequency bands was seen after 5 weeks of treatment but not at the end of the post-treatment period. Hippocampal population spikes in the treated animals were depressed and showed less potentiation, which effect was still present 19 weeks after finishing the treatment. The duration of the sensory cortical evoked potentials was shorter than in the controls. In the treated rats, tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive boutons in the substantia nigra pars reticulata were shrunk; blood and brain Hg levels were significantly higher and decreased only slowly. Considering the continuous presence of low levels of mercurials in the human environment, effects of this kind may be supposed as the background of some human neurobehavioral abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-796
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Fingerprint

Mercury
Rats
Startle Reflex
Animals
Bioelectric potentials
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
Frequency bands
Chlorides
Brain
Sensory Gating
Psychomotor Performance
Blood
Therapeutics
Evoked Potentials
Water
Reaction Time
Noise
Wistar Rats
Young Adult
Experiments

Keywords

  • Electrocorticogram
  • Evoked activity
  • Methyl mercury
  • Psychomotor performance
  • Rat
  • Spontaneous exploratory activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Behavioral and neurotoxic effects seen during and after subchronic exposure of rats to organic mercury. / Vezér, Tünde; Papp, A.; Kurunczi, Anita; Párducz, A.; Náray, Miklós; Nagymajtényi, L.

In: Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 05.2005, p. 785-796.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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