2009 Volume 47 Issue 1 Pages 11-21
PCB153 (2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl), a non-coplanar PCB and the congener most widely distributed in the environment, was orally administered to pregnant Sprague-Dawley (Crj: CD (SD) IGS) rats from gestation day 10 through 16 at doses of 0 (control), 16 and 64 mg/kg body weight. Female pups were sacrificed at 1, 3, 6, and 9 wk, and at 1 yr of age to evaluate the differences in brain neurotransmitters and their metabolites between PCB153-exposed and control groups. Brain levels of norepinephrine (NE), 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), dopamine (DA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA), serotonin (5HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA), acetylcholine (ACh), and choline (Ch) in discrete brain regions or in whole brain were measured. At 1 to 3 wk after birth, brain levels of DA, DOPAC, HVA, 5HT and 5HIAA in PCB-exposed groups were higher than those of the control group. At 9 wk after birth, DA turnover was reduced in half of the four brain areas examined (forebrain and hindbrain), and 5HIAA levels were increased in all brain areas in the PCB-treated group compared to those of the control group. At 1 yr after birth, the levels of DA, DOPAC, and HVA in the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and medulla oblongata were lower in the PCB-exposed groups than in the control group. Prenatal exposure to PCB153 stimulated the turnover of 5HT neurons in the brain of female offspring at early stages (1 to 9 wk) of development. On the other hand, the turnover of DA neurons in the PCB-exposed groups was reduced in late stages (9 wk to 1 yr) of development compared with that of the control group. The brain neurotransmitters of dams treated with PCB were assayed at 3 wk after delivery (15 wk old), and decreases in DA, DOPAC, and HVA were observed. PCB153 reduced the activity of DA neurons in the brain of dams. These results are discussed in relation to health effects observed in humans exposed to PCBs.