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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2006 May-Jun;28(3):323-32. Epub 2006 Mar 6.

Postnatal manganese exposure attenuates cocaine-induced locomotor activity and reduces dopamine transporters in adult male rats.

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Department of Psychology, California State University, San Bernardino, CA 92407, USA.


In the present study, we examined whether exposing rats to manganese (Mn) during the preweanling period would affect basal or cocaine-induced locomotor activity in adulthood and reduce the number of striatal dopamine transporter binding sites. On postnatal day (PD) 1-21, rats were given oral supplements of vehicle or Mn chloride (250 or 750 microg/day). Striatal Mn and iron (Fe) accumulation as well as serum Fe levels were measured on PD 14, PD 21, and PD 90. Throughout the dosing period, rats were evaluated on standard measures of sensory and motor development. During adulthood, the basal and cocaine-induced locomotor activity of vehicle- and Mn-exposed rats was assessed using automated testing chambers. After completion of behavioral testing, striatal dopamine transporter binding sites were measured using [(3)H]GBR 12935. Results showed that early Mn exposure enhanced striatal Mn accumulation on PD 14 and PD 21, while depressing serum Fe levels on PD 21. Exposure to Mn on PD 1-21 did not affect striatal or serum Mn or Fe levels on PD 90. During the second postnatal week, Mn-exposed rat pups performed more poorly than controls on a negative geotaxis task, however basal motor activity of preweanling rat pups was not affected by Mn treatment. When tested in adulthood, basal locomotor activity of vehicle- and Mn-exposed rats also did not differ. In contrast, adult rats previously exposed to 750 microg/day Mn showed an enhanced locomotor response when challenged with 10 mg/kg cocaine. A different pattern of results occurred after treatment with a higher dose of the psychostimulant, because Mn-exposed rats showed an attenuated locomotor response when given 20 mg/kg cocaine. Importantly, Mn-exposed rats exhibited long-term reductions in striatal dopamine transporter binding sites. Considered together, these results indicate that postnatal Mn exposure has long-term behavioral and neurochemical effects that can persist into adulthood.

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