Developmental neurotoxicity of cadmium on enzyme activities of crucial offspring rat brain regions

Biometals. 2013 Dec;26(6):1013-21. doi: 10.1007/s10534-013-9678-3. Epub 2013 Sep 25.


Cadmium (Cd) is an environmental contaminant known to exert significant neurotoxic effects on both humans and experimental animals. The aim of this study was to shed more light on the effects of gestational (in utero) and lactational maternal exposure to Cd (50 ppm of Cd as Cd-chloride in the drinking water) on crucial brain enzyme activities in important rat offspring brain regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, pons and cerebellum). Our study provides a brain region-specific view of the changes in the activities of three crucial brain enzymes as a result of the developmental neurotoxicity of Cd. Maternal exposure to Cd during both gestation and lactation results into significant changes in the activities of acetylcholinesterase and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase in the frontal cortex and the cerebellum of the offspring rats, as well as in a significant increase in the hippocampal Mg(2+)-ATPase activity. These brain-region-specific findings underline the need for further research in the field of Cd-induced developmental neurotoxicity. Deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying the neurodevelopmental deficits taking place due to in utero and early age exposure to Cd could shed more light on the causes of its well-established cognitive implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / genetics
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase / genetics
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase / metabolism*
  • Cadmium Chloride / toxicity*
  • Cerebellum / drug effects
  • Cerebellum / enzymology
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Frontal Lobe / drug effects
  • Frontal Lobe / enzymology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gestational Age
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / enzymology
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus / enzymology
  • Lactation / drug effects
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / enzymology*
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / etiology
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / genetics
  • Pons / drug effects
  • Pons / enzymology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / genetics
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase
  • Cadmium Chloride