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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of the Effects of Chronic Intoxication with Inorganic Mercury on Memory and Motor Control in Rats

1
Laboratory of Functional and Structural Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Pará, 66075-900 Belém-Pará, Brazil
2
Laboratory Pharmacology of Inflammation and Behavior, Institute of Health Sciences, Federal University of Pará, 66075-900 Belém-Pará, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9171-9185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909171
Received: 21 July 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
The aims of this study were to evaluate whether chronic intoxication with mercury chloride (HgCl2), in a low concentration over a long time, can be deposited in the central nervous tissue and to determine if this exposure induces motor and cognitive impairments. Twenty animals were intoxicated for 45 days at a dose of 0.375 mg/kg/day. After this period, the animals underwent a battery of behavioral tests, in a sequence of open field, social recognition, elevated T maze and rotarod tests. They were then sacrificed, their brains collected and the motor cortex and hippocampus dissected for quantification of mercury deposited. This study demonstrates that long-term chronic HgCl2 intoxication in rats promotes functional damage. Exposure to HgCl2 induced anxiety-related responses, short- and long-term memory impairments and motor deficits. Additionally, HgCl2 accumulated in both the hippocampus and cortex of the brain with a higher affinity for the cortex. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury; mercury chloride; toxicology mercury; mercury chloride; toxicology
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Teixeira, F.B.; Fernandes, R.M.; Farias-Junior, P.M.A.; Costa, N.M.M.; Fernandes, L.M.P.; Santana, L.N.S.; Silva-Junior, A.F.; Silva, M.C.F.; Maia, C.S.F.; Lima, R.R. Evaluation of the Effects of Chronic Intoxication with Inorganic Mercury on Memory and Motor Control in Rats. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 9171-9185.

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