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Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Oct;50(10):3709-18. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.07.016. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Behavior and brain enzymatic changes after long-term intoxication with cadmium salt or contaminated potatoes.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcellos, 2600-Anexo, 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


This study investigated the cadmium (Cd) intoxication on cognitive, motor and anxiety performance of rats subjected to long-term exposure to diet with Cd salt or with Cd from contaminated potato tubers. Potato plantlets were micropropagated in MS medium and transplanted to plastic trays containing sand. Tubers were collected, planted in sand boxes and cultivated with 0 or 10 μM Cd and, after were oven-dried, powder processed and used for diet. Rats were divided into six groups and fed different diets for 5 months: control, potato, potato+Cd, 1, 5 or 25 mg/kg CdCl2. Cd exposure increased Cd concentration in brain regions. There was a significant decrease in the step-down latency in Cd-intoxicated rats and, elevated plus maze task revealed an anxiolytic effect in rats fed potato diet per se, and an anxiogenic effect in rats fed 25 mg/kg Cd. The brain structures of rats exposed to Cd salt or Cd from tubers showed an increased AChE activity, but Na+,K+-ATPase decreased in cortex, hypothalamus, and cerebellum. Therefore, we suggest an association between the long-term diet of potato tuber and a clear anxiolytic effect. Moreover, we observed an impaired cognition and enhanced anxiety-like behavior displayed by Cd-intoxicated rats coupled with a marked increase of brain Cd concentration, and increase and decrease of AChE and Na+,K+-ATPase activities, respectively.

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