Nervous system effects in rats on subacute exposure by lead-containing nanoparticles via the airways
Source: Inhalation Toxicology, Volume 23, Number 4, March 2011 , pp. 173-181(9)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Context and objective: Lead (Pb) is a heavy metal harmful for human health and environment. From leaded gasoline (still used in certain countries), and in Pb processing and reprocessing industries, airborne particles are emitted which can be inhaled. In such exposure, the size of particles entering the airways is crucial. The nervous system is a primary target for Pb, and consequences like occupational neuropathy and delayed mental development of children are well-known. The aim of this work was to investigate the neurotoxicity of Pb nanoparticles (NPs) applied into the airways of rats.
Methods: Nano-sized lead oxide particles (mean diameter ca. 20 nm) were suspended in distilled water and instilled into the trachea of adult male Wistar rats (in doses equivalent to 2 and 4 mg/kg Pb), 5 times a week for 3 and 6 weeks. At the end, open field motility was tested, then central and peripheral nervous activity was recorded in urethane anesthesia.
Results and conclusion: The treated rats’’ body weight gain was significantly lower than that of the controls from the 3rd week onwards, and the weight of their lungs was significantly increased. Horizontal motility increased while vertical motility decreased. Spontaneous cortical activity was shifted to higher frequencies. The somatosensory cortical evoked potential showed increased latency and decreased frequency-following ability, and similar alterations were seen in the tail nerve. Significant Pb deposition was measured in blood, brain, lung and liver samples of the treated rats. The experiments performed seem to constitute an adequate model of the human effects of inhaled Pb NPs.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Public Health, University of Szeged Faculty of Medicine, Szeged, Hungary 2: 2Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Szeged Faculty of Science and Informatics, Szeged, Hungary
Publication date: March 2011