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Environ Res. 2001 Jan;85(1):41-7.

Effects of prenatal styrene exposure on postnatal development and brain serotonin and catecholamine levels in rats.

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Department of Public Health, Sapporo Medical University, Sapporo 060-8556, Japan.


Maternal reproductive effects in Wistar rats exposed to 0, 50, or 300 ppm styrene for 6 h/day during gestational days 6 to 20 were evaluated. Their offspring were observed postnatally for neurochemical changes, growth, and physical landmarks of development. Mothers exposed to styrene were compared with pair-fed and ad-lib-fed controls in order to adjust nutrient conditions. Prolongation of the gestational period, food intake, and the number of neonatal deaths or stillbirths in 300-ppm-exposed dams showed evidence of styrene-related effects. Other reproductive parameters, such as litter size, birth weight, and sex ratio, were found to exhibit no effects within the variation range studied. A neurochemical effect was observed in that the 5-HT and HVA concentrations in cerebrum were significantly decreased. Incisor eruption (mandible), eye opening, and the air-righting reflex were delayed in rat pups born to dams receiving 300 ppm styrene exposure compared with the pair-fed and ad lib control groups. Pups born to dams exposed to 50 ppm styrene also had a significantly delayed air-righting reflex compared with ad lib controls. These results suggest that the offspring were susceptible to the effects of styrene on a few developmental landmarks even when nutritional effects were controlled.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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