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Neurotoxicology. 1990 Summer;11(2):345-54.

Neonatal exposure to DDT and its fatty acid conjugate: effects on cholinergic and behavioural variables in the adult mouse.

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Department of Zoophysiology, Uppsala University, Sweden.


We have recently observed that DDT and a DDT metabolite, DDOH, conjugated to a fatty acid, palmitic acid, DDOH-PA, affects muscarinic cholinergic receptors (MAChR) in the neonatal mouse brain when given to suckling mice during rapid brain growth. This early exposure of the neonatal mouse also affects the behaviour of the animals as adults. When DDT and DDOH-PA was given as a single low oral dose of 1.4 mumol/kg body weight, DDT (0.5 mg), DDOH-PA (0.7 mg) and a 20% fat emulsion vehicle (10 ml) per kg body weight to 10-day-old NMRI mice, behavioural tests at adult age of four months, indicated disruption of a simple, non-associative learning process, i.e. habituation, in both DDT and DDOH-PA treated mice. There was also a significant increase in the potassium evoked release of ACh from slices of cerebral cortex and a tendency towards a decrease in the density of MAChR in mice receiving DDT. These effects in the adult mice could not be correlated to the concentration of DDT in the adult brain since DDT one month after its administration to the 10-day-old mouse no longer is present in the brain.

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