Neurobehavioral effects of chronic dietary and repeated high-level spike exposure to chlorpyrifos in rats.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study aimed to model long-term subtoxic human exposure to an organophosphorus pesticide, chlorpyrifos, and to examine the influence of that exposure on the response to intermittent high-dose acute challenges. Adult Long-Evans male rats were maintained at 350 g body weight by limited access to a chlorpyrifos-containing diet to produce an intake of 0, 1, or 5 mg/kg/day chlorpyrifos. During the year-long exposure, half of the rats in each dose group received bi-monthly challenges (spikes) of chlorpyrifos, and the other half received vehicle. Rats were periodically tested using a neurological battery of evaluations and motor activity to evaluate the magnitude of the acute response (spike days) as well as recovery and ongoing chronic effects (non-spike days). Effects of the spikes differed as a function of dietary level for several endpoints (e.g., tremor, lacrimation), and in general, the high-dose feed groups showed greater effects of the spike doses. Animals receiving the spikes also showed some neurobehavioral differences among treatment groups (e.g., hypothermia, sensory and neuromotor differences) in the intervening months. During the eleventh month, rats were tested in a Morris water maze. There were some cognitive deficits observed, demonstrated by slightly longer latency during spatial training, and decreased preference for the correct quadrant on probe trials. A consistent finding in the water maze was one of altered swim patterning, or search strategy. The high-dose feed groups showed more tendency to swim in the outer annulus or to swim very close to the walls of the tank (thigmotaxic behavior). Overall, dietary exposure to chlorpyrifos produced long-lasting neurobehavioral changes and also altered the response to acute challenges.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moser, VC; Phillips, PM; McDaniel, KL; Marshall, RS; Hunter, DL; Padilla, S

Published Date

  • August 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 375 - 386

PubMed ID

  • 15901919

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0929

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1096-6080

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/toxsci/kfi199


  • eng