Original Paper

Neurochemical Research

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 912-918

First online:

Prenatal Exposure to Ozone Disrupts Cerebellar Monoamine Contents in Newborn Rats

  • Rigoberto Gonzalez-PinaAffiliated withLaboratorio de Neuroplasticidad, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitacion Email author 
  • , Carmen Escalante-MembrilloAffiliated withInstituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia MVS
  • , Alfonso Alfaro-RodriguezAffiliated withLaboratorio de Neuroquimica, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitacion
  • , Angelica Gonzalez-MacielAffiliated withLaboratorio de Microscopia Electronica, Instituto Nacional de Pediatria

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Ozone (O3) is widely distributed in environments with high levels of air pollution. Since cerebellar morphologic disruptions have been reported with prenatal O3 exposure, O3 may have an effect on some neurotransmitter systems, such as monoamines. In order to test this hypothesis, we used 60 male rats taken from either, mothers exposed to 1 ppm of O3 during the entire pregnancy, or from mothers breathing filtered and clean air during pregnancy. The cerebellum was extracted at 0, 5, and 10 postnatal days. Tissues were processed in order to analyze by HPLC, dopamine (DA) levels, 3,4 dihydroxyphenilacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA), norepinephrine (NA), serotonin, and 5-hydroxy-indole-acetic acid (5-HIAA) contents. Results showed a decrease of DA, NA, DOPAC and HVA mainly in 0 and 5 postnatal days. There were no changes in 5-HT levels, and 5-HIAA showed an increase after 10 postnatal days. DOPAC + HVA/DA ratio showed changes in 0 and 10 postnatal days, while 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio showed a slight decrease in 0 days. The data suggest that prenatal O3 exposure disrupts the cerebellar catecholamine system rather than the indole-amine system. Disruptions in cerebellar NA could lead to ataxic symptoms and also could limit recovery after cortical brain damage in adults. These finding are important given that recovery mechanisms observed in animals are also observed in humans.


Ozone Prenatal exposure Monoamines Cerebellum Brain recovery Rats