Persistent neurobehavioral and neurochemical anomalies in middle-aged rats after maternal diazinon exposure.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Diazinon is an organophosphate pesticide that has a history of wide use. Developmental exposures to organophosphates lead to neurobehavioral changes that emerge early in life and can persist into adulthood. However, preclinical studies have generally evaluated changes through young adulthood, whereas the persistence or progression of deficits into middle age remain poorly understood. The current study evaluated the effects of maternal diazinon exposure on behavior and neurochemistry in middle age, at 1 year postpartum, comparing the results to our previous studies of outcomes at adolescence and in young adulthood (4 months of age) (Hawkey 2020). Female rats received 0, 0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg/day of diazinon via osmotic minipump throughout gestation and into the postpartum period. The offspring were tested on a battery of locomotor, affective, and cognitive tests at young adulthood and during middle age. Some of the neurobehavioral consequences of developmental DZN seen during adolescence and young adulthood faded with continued aging, whereas other neurobehavioral effects emerged with aging. At middle age, the rats showed few locomotor effects, in contrast to the locomotor hyperactivity that had been observed in adolescence. Notably, though, DZN exposure during development impaired reference memory performance in middle-aged males, an effect that had not been seen in the younger animals. Likewise, middle-aged females exposed to DZN showed deficient attentional accuracy, an effect not seen in young adults. Across adulthood, the continued potential for behavioral defects was associated with altered dopaminergic function, characterized by enhanced dopamine utilization that was regionally-selective (striatum but not frontal/parietal cortex). This study shows that the neurobehavioral impairments from maternal low dose exposure to diazinon not only persist, but may continue to evolve as animals enter middle age.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hawkey, AB; Pippen, E; Kenou, B; Holloway, Z; Slotkin, TA; Seidler, FJ; Levin, ED

Published Date

  • April 30, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 472 /

Start / End Page

  • 153189 -

PubMed ID

  • 35452779

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-3185

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.tox.2022.153189


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland