Rodent Neurotoxicity Bioassays for Screening Contaminated Great Lakes Fish. Environmental Toxicology Chemistry

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Environmental Toxicology Chemistry





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Standard laboratory rat neurotoxicity protocols were used to study the consequences resulting from the consumption of walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), whitefish (Coregonus chupeaformis), and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from Lake Superior (LS) and the consumption of carp (Cyprinus carpio) from Little Lake Butte des Morte (LLBM) near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. Two 90-d subchronic studies are described, including a 45-d exposure to fish diets using male Sprague-Dawley hooded rats, and a 90-d exposure to fish diets using female rats of the same species. Behavioral alterations were tested using a battery of behavioral tests. In addition, pharmacologic challenges using apomorphine and D-amphetamine were administered to the rats to reveal latent neurotoxic effects. Cumulative fish consumption data were recorded daily, weight gain recorded weekly, and behavioral data collected prior to exposure, and on days 7, 14, 55 ± 2, 85 ± 2. Motor activity data were collected on days 30 ± 2, 60 ± 2, and 90 ± 2 of the feeding protocols. Brain tissue from rodents fed these fish were subsequently analyzed for either mercury (Hg) or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). Mercury concentrations were increased in the brains of the walleye-fed rats, and PCB concentrations ranged from 0.5 nl/L to 10 nl/L in the brains of rats fed carp from LLBM, a Lake Michigan tributary. Adult male rats fed LLBM carp for 45 d exhibited the greatest behavioral responses to the dopaminergic agonist apomorphine on the accelerating rotarod, although these differences were not significant. The 90-d exposure of LS walleye or Hg-spiked LS walleye resulted in behavioral alterations on tactile startle response and second footsplay. D-Amphetamine challenge caused changes in tactile startle response, second footsplay, and accelerating rotarod performance after consuming walleye diets. Rats fed LLBM carp had altered behavioral responses to apomorphine on the accelerating rotarod.


Fish as food; Fishes – Mercury content; Great Lakes fish; Great Lakes Region; Methylmercury; Neurotoxicity; Neurotoxicology; PCB; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Rats


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Toxicology




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Beattie, M. K., Gerstenberger, S., Hoffman, R. and Dellinger, J. A. (1996), Rodent neurotoxicity bioassays for screening contaminated great lakes fish. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 15: 313–318. doi: 10.1002/etc.5620150314

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