Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 669–678 | Cite as

Acute and Chronic Exposure of Toluene Induces Genotoxicity in Different Regions of the Brain in Normal and Allergic Mouse Models

  • Ting-Ying Laio
  • Chih-Chun Chen
  • Han-Hsing Tsou
  • Tsung-Yun Liu
  • Hsiang-Tsui WangEmail author
Original Article


Toluene is a widely used industrial organic solvent and is ubiquitous in our environment. The neurobehavioral and neurotoxic effects of toluene are well recognized; however, its genotoxicity is still under discussion. Toluene biotransformation leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress and DNA damages. Individuals with different immunogenetic backgrounds have different sensitivities to toxic chemical exposure. Previous studies have suggested that allergic stimulation may influence the threshold for toluene sensitivity due to the modulation of neurotrophin-related genes. Therefore, we aimed to investigate toluene-induced genotoxicity in different brain regions following acute and chronic exposure in vivo and to further examine whether allergic stimulation may influence the sensitivity to toluene-induced genotoxicity. In this present study, we found that exposure of toluene induced oxidative DNA damages resulting in genotoxicity in different brain regions including cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus using comet assay. Higher genotoxicity induced by toluene was observed in the hippocampus of control mice compared to OVA-immunized mice. These results provide evidence that toluene-induced genotoxicity may contribute to its neurotoxicity in different immunogenetic individuals.


Toluene Genotoxicity Acute and chronic exposure Hippocampus BDNF 


Author Contribution

T.-Y.L., C.-C.C., H.-H.T., T.-Y.L., and H.-T.W. designed research; T.-Y.L., C.-C.C., H.-H.T., T.-Y.L., and H.-T.W. performed research; T.-Y.L. and H.-T.W. analyzed data; and T.-Y.L. and H.-T.W. wrote the paper.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, under [106-3114-B-010001 (H-T Wang); 107-2320-B-010-018 (H-T Wang)].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The use of animals has been approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. All experiments were performed in accordance with the approved guidelines.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

12640_2019_24_MOESM1_ESM.docx (33 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 32 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health SciencesNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Food Safety and Health Risk AssessmentNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of PharmacologyNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, Republic of China

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