Abstract
IMPAIRED HIPPOCAMPAL-DEPENDENT LEARNING BEHAVIOUR IN RATS EXPOSED TO CADMIUM-TREATED WATER

*Olorunfemi O. J., Okoseimiema S. C. and Azibalua A. A.

ABSTRACT

Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that exists naturally as a divalent cation complexed with other elements existing in the earth’s crust and has been known for causing neurotoxicity but its specific effects on the hippocampal spatial relationship has not been fully elucidated hence the design of this study. The use of the Inverted Screen, Navigation maze box, Hand grip and Rotarod were used at investigating the effects of cadmium toxicity in the hippocampal region of the brain as it affects the spatial behavior in wistar rats in a standard laboratory. Twenty-five albino wistar rats were weighed and placed into five groups of five animals each. Normal saline water was given to the control. Cadmium contaminated water was prepared and administered orally to the treatment groups 2-4 at relative doses of 0.5ml, 0.7ml and 1ml/100g depending on the body weights of the wistar rat. Vitamin E (as antioxidant) was also administered orally to the rats in group 5. Muscular endurance threshold, spatial task and motor balance and coordination were analyzed using the animal's ability to endure and be stable for a period of time after administration of the doses. Adaptive locomotion was also analyzed using the rat's ability to locate the end of the maze box for a period of 5 minutes after administration. Statistical analysis was performed with ANOVA, while Post Hoc multiple comparison test was used in the comparison of the effects to the negative control group and with the Vitamin E as the positive control group. Results obtained were statistically analyzed and showed that some values were statistically significant when compared to both the positive and negative control. From the results, study indicated that there is a direct relationship between Cadmium exposure effect and significant (p< 0.05) decline in cognitive activities, motor coordination, stability of extremities and also on memory and learning on albino wistar rat. At a high dose of 1ml/100g, the rats experienced instability of their extremities and also had a significant effect on memory and learning. Therefore, cadmium toxicity as part of its neurotoxic effect, could significantly interfere with hippocampal spatial relationships with regards to spatial learning steady coordination and episodic memory and these effects were dose-dependent as observed in the study.

Keywords: Cadmium, neurotoxicity, Inverted screen, Handgrip, Rotarod, wistar rat.


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