Combined effects of subchronic exposure to lead, mercury and alcohol on the spontaneous and evoked cortical activity in rats

Zita Fazakas, Zsuzsanna Lengyel, László Nagymajtényi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a combination of well-known neurotoxic heavy metals, lead and mercuiy, with ethanol. For 12 weeks, young adult male Wistar rats were given plain tap water or water containing 5% (v/v) ethanol to drink, and were treated with two doses of lead acetate or mercuric chloride by gavage. Accordingly, there was a water-drinking and an alcohol-drinking control group. After the treatment period, spontaneous and stimulus-evoked activity from the somatosensory, visual and auditory cortical areas was recorded. The frequency spectrum of the spontaneous activity, as well as latency and duration of the evoked potential were analysed. A shift in frequency was observed in the electrocorticogram, and lengthened latency and duration times in the evoked potentials. Alcohol seemed to influence the effect of the metals. Combined exposure to heavy metals and regular alcohol consumption may result in more severe central and/or peripheral neurotoxic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalArhiv za Higijenu Rada i Toksikologiju
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Combined exposure
  • Electrocorticogram
  • Ethanol
  • Evoked potential
  • Heavy metals
  • Neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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