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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


CARVAJAL, F; LERMA-CABRERA, J. M; SANCHEZ-AMATE, M. C  and  CUBERO, I. A Single High Dose of Chlorpyrifos Reduces Long-Term Basal C-Fos Expression in the Rat Arcuate Hypothalamic Nucleus. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2014, vol.32, n.1, pp.90-96. ISSN 0717-9502.

Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is an organophosphate compound used worldwide as a pesticide in agriculture that, after subcutaneous injection, keeps acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity inhibited within an organism for months. Ample clinical and experimental evidence shows that CPF exposure induces relevant and persistent neurobehavioral deficits in humans and animals, even after one single episode/injection. Additionally, clinical and epidemiological studies evidence that a significant percentage (60%) of Gulf War veterans as well as agricultural workers suffering from acute OP intoxication may have developed intolerance to nicotine and ethanol-containing beverages. Consistent with it, administration of a single high dose of CPF to adult Wistar rats elicited long-lasting reduced voluntary ethanol drinking and increased sedation to ethanol without evidence of altered ethanol metabolism, which indicates that CPF-ethanol neurobiological interactions may exist. In this study, we explore whether CPF exposure induces significant disturbances in basal and/or ethanol-evoked neural activity in a set of cholinoceptive brain regions critically involved with neurobiological responses to ethanol. For this aim, brain regional c-fos expression in response to acute ethanol (1.5 or 3.0 g/kg, i.p.) or saline was assessed in adult male Wistar rats previously injected with either a single high dose of CPF (250 mg/kg, sc) or vehicle. We found that CPF administration reduces long-term basal, but not ethanol-evoked, c-fos expression in the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus. Because independent brain pathways may modulate acute responses to ethanol and voluntary ethanol consumption, we do not rule out the contribution of basal neural disturbances observed in the Arc to CPF-elicited ethanol avoidance.

Keywords : Chlorpyrifos; Organophosphates; C-fos expression; Arcuate hypothalamic nucleus; Ethanol consumption.

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