Neonatal parathion exposure disrupts serotonin and dopamine synaptic function in rat brain regions: modulation by a high-fat diet in adulthood.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The consequences of exposure to developmental neurotoxicants are influenced by environmental factors. In the present study, we examined the role of dietary fat intake. We administered parathion to neonatal rats and then evaluated whether a high-fat diet begun in adulthood could modulate the persistent effects on 5HT and DA systems. Neonatal rats received parathion on postnatal days 1-4 at 0.1 or 0.2 mg/kg/day, straddling the cholinesterase inhibition threshold. In adulthood, half the animals in each exposure group were given a high-fat diet for 8 weeks. We assessed 5HT and DA concentrations and turnover in brain regions containing their respective cell bodies and projections. In addition, we monitored 5HT1A and 5HT2 receptor binding and the concentration of 5HT presynaptic transporters. Neonatal parathion exposure evoked widespread increases in neurotransmitter turnover, indicative of presynaptic hyperactivity, further augmented by 5HT receptor upregulation. In control rats, consumption of a high-fat diet recapitulated many of the changes seen with neonatal parathion exposure; the effects represented convergent mechanisms, since the high-fat diet often obtunded further increases caused by parathion. Neonatal parathion exposure causes lasting hyperactivity of 5HT and DA systems accompanied by 5HT receptor upregulation, consistent with "miswiring" of neuronal projections. A high-fat diet obtunds the effect of parathion, in part by eliciting similar changes itself. Thus, dietary factors may produce similar synaptic changes as do developmental neurotoxicants, potentially contributing to the increasing incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Slotkin, TA; Wrench, N; Ryde, IT; Lassiter, TL; Levin, ED; Seidler, FJ

Published Date

  • November 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 390 - 399

PubMed ID

  • 19616088

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2761992

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States