Methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are food contaminants often found in fish. Experimental and epidemiological studies indicate that both PCBs and MeHg are developmental neurotoxicants, and some reports suggest that they may cause additive and/or synergistic neurotoxicity. We had previously investigated the effects of exposure to low doses of MeHg (0.5 mg/kg/day in drinking water) and PCB 126 (100 ng/kg/day in food) alone or in combination, from gestational day 7 to postpartum day 21, on neurobehavioral development in Wistar rats. The main finding was hyperactivity in male rats exposed to PCB 126, and in female animals exposed to PCB 126 + MeHg at 4 months of age (Vitalone et al., 2008). Since effects caused by developmental exposure may be exacerbated as the animal ages, aim of the present study was to investigate behavioral effects of the same developmental exposure to PCB 126 and/or MeHg up to the age of 20 months. Results indicate that aging did not enhance the behavioral effects of early exposures: however, behavioral alterations found in the first months of life in male rats exposed to PCB 126, or in female rats exposed to PCB 126 + MeHg, were persistent. Furthermore, an additional effect (increased body weight) was unmasked in adulthood in male rats exposed to PCB 126. These results indicate that developmental exposure to a low, environmentally relevant dose of PCB 126 causes long-lasting hyperactivity in male rats, and a significant increase in body weight
I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.