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. 2017 Jun;177(2):288-296.
doi: 10.1007/s12011-016-0883-0. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Individual and Combined Effects of Arsenic and Lead on Behavioral and Biochemical Changes in Mice


Individual and Combined Effects of Arsenic and Lead on Behavioral and Biochemical Changes in Mice

Sharmin Aktar et al. Biol Trace Elem Res. .


Arsenic (As) toxicity has caused an environmental tragedy affecting millions of people in the world. Little is known about the toxic effects of As on neurobehavioral and biochemical changes in vivo. Along this line of metal toxicity, co-exposure of lead (Pb) could aggravate the situation in the host. The present study was designed to explore the combined effects of As and Pb on behavioral changes like anxiety, spatial memory and learning impairment, and blood indices related to organ dysfunction. Exposure of mice to As (10 mg/kg body weight), Pb (10 mg/kg body weight), and As + Pb via drinking water significantly decreased the time spent exploring the open arms while it increased the time spent in the closed arms compared to control mice in the elevated plus maze. The mean latency time of the control group to find the platform decreased significantly during the learning for 7 days compared to all three treated groups in the Morris water maze test, and the As-exposed group spent significantly less time in the desired quadrant as compared to the control group in the probe trial. Both metals posed an anxiety-like behavior and deficits in spatial memory and learning, and also altered blood indices related to liver and kidney dysfunction, and a combined exposure of these metals inhibited the individual accumulation of As and Pb. Taken together, these data suggest that As has more toxic effects on neurobehavioral and biochemical changes than Pb, and there may be antagonism in the effects and accumulation between these two toxicants.

Keywords: Anxiety; Arsenic; Co-exposure; Lead; Learning; Spatial memory; Toxicity.

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