, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1013–1021 | Cite as

Developmental neurotoxicity of cadmium on enzyme activities of crucial offspring rat brain regions

  • Vasileios Stolakis
  • Stylianos Tsakiris
  • Konstantinos Kalafatakis
  • Apostolos Zarros
  • Nikolina Skandali
  • Vasiliki Gkanti
  • Argyro Kyriakaki
  • Charis Liapi


Cadmium (Cd) is an environmental contaminant known to exert significant neurotoxic effects on both humans and experimental animals. The aim of this study was to shed more light on the effects of gestational (in utero) and lactational maternal exposure to Cd (50 ppm of Cd as Cd-chloride in the drinking water) on crucial brain enzyme activities in important rat offspring brain regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, pons and cerebellum). Our study provides a brain region-specific view of the changes in the activities of three crucial brain enzymes as a result of the developmental neurotoxicity of Cd. Maternal exposure to Cd during both gestation and lactation results into significant changes in the activities of acetylcholinesterase and Na+,K+-ATPase in the frontal cortex and the cerebellum of the offspring rats, as well as in a significant increase in the hippocampal Mg2+-ATPase activity. These brain-region-specific findings underline the need for further research in the field of Cd-induced developmental neurotoxicity. Deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying the neurodevelopmental deficits taking place due to in utero and early age exposure to Cd could shed more light on the causes of its well-established cognitive implications.


Cadmium Acetylcholinesterase Na+,K+-ATPase Mg2+-ATPase Rat Frontal cortex Hippocampus Cerebellum 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasileios Stolakis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stylianos Tsakiris
    • 2
  • Konstantinos Kalafatakis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Apostolos Zarros
    • 2
  • Nikolina Skandali
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vasiliki Gkanti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Argyro Kyriakaki
    • 1
  • Charis Liapi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Pharmacology, Medical SchoolNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of Physiology, Medical SchoolNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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