Because behavioral deficits associated with gestational exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been a concern, we studied the developmental and neurobehavioral effects of perinatal exposure to Aroclor 1254 (A1254), a commercial mixture of PCBs, in mice. The PCB mixture (A1254; 0, 6, 18, and 54 mg/kg body weight) was administered to pregnant mice (C57BL/6Cr) every 3 days by gavage from gestational day (GD) 6 to postnatal day (PND) 20. Compared with the control, treatment with A1254 did not alter the maternal body weight during the gestation and lactation periods. The body weight of the offspring did not differ among treatments. To assess the effects on offspring following such exposure, physical and neurobehavioral development (i.e., pinna detachment, hair growth, eye opening, incisor eruption, grasp reflex, righting reflex, walking, negative geotaxis, and cliff avoidance) was observed before weaning. At PND 7, poor adult-like responses in negative geotaxis were observed in all exposed groups. When the offspring were at 8-week old, the PCB-treated (18 mg/kg body weight) mice showed a decreased walking speed in the open-field test, and a prolonged time to reach the platform in the water maze test. Spontaneous locomotion activity was not affected by PCB exposure at 9 weeks . These results showed that perinatal exposure to PCBs produces several behavioral alterations in mice. Although dose-dependent changes were not observed, the neurobehavioral effects such as a decreased walking speed in the open-field test and a prolonged time to reach the platform in the water maze test remained in adulthood after the seeming recovery from the transient delay in development before weaning.
- Neurobehavioral effect
- Perinatal exposure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis