Author(s): Chattopadhyay S, Bhaumik S, Nag Chaudhury A, Das Gupta S
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Abstract Arsenic at a nonlethal level in drinking water consumed over a period of time has been reported to produce chronic toxicity and various types of health problems ranging from skin cancer to disturbance in memory. Neurotoxic effects have been reported in clinical cases with chronic exposure to arsenic. Physiological detoxication of arsenic occurs partially through methylation. Arsenic and its methylated derivatives are distributed in different organs and systems. The present study examined the possible interference in the neuronal development and differentiation due to the exposure to arsenic during gestation. The experiments were carried out to examine short and long term effects of arsenic on brain explants and cells grown and maintained in tissue culture system. The effects of arsenic exposure showed changes in brain cell membrane function indicated by generation and release of reactive oxygen-nitrogen intermediates. On the morphological aspect the explants' growth was reduced, ground matrix was lost and neural networking was inhibited. Cells showed signs of apoptotic changes. Arsenic toxicity may induce damage to brain cells prior to more visible clinical conditions. The deleterious effects also pass from the maternal to fetal tissue across the transplacental barrier.
This article was published in Toxicol Lett
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology