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Exclusive prenatal exposure to a 16 PAH mixture does not impact anxiety-related behaviours and regional brain metabolism in adult male rats: A role for the period of exposure in the modulation of PAH neurotoxicity

Toxicology Letters, 221 (1), pp. 40-46.

Crepeaux, G., Bouillaud-Kremarik, P., Sikhayeva, N., Rychen, G., Soulimani, R., Schroeder, H.

2013

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are persistent organic pollutants originating from incompletecombustion processes. Humans are mainly exposed through contaminated food ingestion. PAHs are neu-rotoxic compounds both for human and rodents, and may be found in placenta, umbilical cord blood andbreast milk, suggesting that early exposure may impact developing central nervous system.In a previous study we showed that PAH exposure during both gestation and lactation periods in ratsincreased anxiety-related behaviours and decreased cerebral metabolism in several key structures linkedto the limbic system on male pups at the adult stage. The aim of the present study was to assess the effectsof an exclusive gestational PAH exposure on the same aspects of brain functionality. Female rats wereexposed through diet to a 16 PAH mixture at doses of 2 g/kg/day or 200 g/kg/day during gestation.Late neurotoxic effects were evaluated by carrying out behavioural and cognitive tests and histochemicalanalyses using cytochrome oxidase activity as a cerebral metabolism marker in different brain areas.The results of this study revealed that behaviour and cerebral metabolism on prenatally PAH exposedadult rats was not significantly affected by the exposure to these pollutants. Finally this work highlights that the exposure period to pollutants such as PAHs at very early stages ofdevelopment play a key role on the neurological impairment induced.

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