John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Maternal repeated oral exposure to microcystin‐LR affects neurobehaviors in developing rats

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Microcystins are toxic peptides secreted by certain waterblooms of toxic cyanobacteria. The most widely studied microcystin is microcystin‐LR (MC‐LR), which exhibits hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity. However, limited information is available regarding the effects on offspring following maternal exposure. The present study is to observe the effects of progestational exposure to MC‐LR on postnatal development in rats. Female SD rats (28 days‐old) were randomly divided into control, 1.0, 5.0, and 20.0 μg MC‐LR/kg bw treatment groups with 7 rats per treatment. MC‐LR was administered through gavage once every 48 h for 8 wk. Pure water was used as control. Each female rat was mated with an unexposed adult male rat. Motor development, behavioral development and learning ability of pups were detected using surface righting reflex, negative geotaxis and cliff avoidance tests on postnatal day (PND) 7. Open field and Morris water maze tests were performed on PND 28 and 60. The level of lipid peroxidation products and antioxidant indices in the rat hippocampus were also detected. MC‐LR‐treated pups had significantly lower scores than control in cliff avoidance test (P < 0.05). Cognition impairments, MDA level and T‐SOD activities significantly increased in MC‐LR‐exposed pups compared with those in the control (P < 0.05). Therefore, the present study reveals that the maternal exposure to MC‐LR has adverse effects on neurodevelopment in rat offspring. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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