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Learning and memory of rats after long-term administration of low doses of parathion.

Abstract
A set of four learning and memory tests (Morris Maze I for reference memory, Morris Maze II for working memory, one-way active avoidance, and passive avoidance) were employed to address the questions whether parathion impaired cognitive functions after low, long-term exposure and could cause persistent changes in cognition. Motor activity and general behavior were investigated in a functional observational battery. Parathion was administered in rat food in low doses which caused no clinical symptoms and no or borderline brain acetylcholinesterase inhibition. Parathion doses of 0.5, 2, or 8 ppm in rat food produced the averaged uptake of 24, 100, or 400 microg/kg body weight per group per day in male rats and 36, 152, or 550 microg/kg per day in female rats in week 13. Learning tests were performed in weeks 1 to 4 and 10 to 14, as well as 30 to 34 weeks after the end of treatment, when the male and female rats were about 13 months old. Low doses of parathion given daily for 13 weeks had no cumulative or adverse effects on learning and memory, either during treatment or after the extended treatment-free period, in any of the tests. A significant improvement of learning compared to control observed in the Morris Water Maze I during the first week of treatment (males dose group 0.5 ppm) shows that parathion can improved cognitive functions in rats. Results of the study indicate that adverse effects changing learning and memory in animals may occur only at higher doses of organophosphates, at which the peripheral and brain acetylcholinesterases are inhibited to a greater extent than those in the present study.
AuthorsI A Ivens, G Schmuck, L Machemer
JournalToxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology (Toxicol Sci) Vol. 46 Issue 1 Pg. 101-11 (Nov 1998) ISSN: 1096-6080 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID9928673 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Insecticides
  • Parathion
  • Cholinesterases
Topics
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning (drug effects)
  • Body Weight (drug effects)
  • Brain (enzymology)
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors (administration & dosage, toxicity)
  • Cholinesterases (blood)
  • Female
  • Insecticides (administration & dosage, toxicity)
  • Learning (drug effects)
  • Male
  • Maze Learning (drug effects)
  • Memory (drug effects)
  • Motor Activity (drug effects)
  • Parathion (administration & dosage, toxicity)
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors

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