2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Interdisciplinary

Affects of Lead on Neurodevelopment in the Kitten
Chad T. Andicochea* and Ashley K. Ramsey
Dr. George W. Patrick (A.T. Still University) and Dr. Laura Fielden, Faculty Mentors

Children with a blood-lead level (BLL) of 20 μg/dL or more demonstrate elevated aggression and learning discrepancies. Non-aggressive rodent Pb studies suggest need for supplementary animal models. Recently, Pb-exposed cats with BLLs between 20-80 μg/dL showed a decrease in attack threshold. Additionally, hyper- vs. hypo-spiny (rat) neurons in the motor cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus were found in the cat. To test the hypothesis that lead ingestion by kittens will cause learning deficits and behavior similar to what is seen in lead-burdened children, 30 kittens were treated (lead acetate or distilled water; 20 mg/kg/day; esophageal intubation) during the first week of life. At eight weeks of life, kittens were tested in the reversal learning t-maze paradigm. Pb-exposed kittens demonstrated elevated frequency of incorrect t-maze arm choices and required 10 additional trials of t-maze testing to reach performance equal to that of control.

Keywords: Pb, Lead, kitten, Reversal T-maze

Topic(s):Sigma-Xi

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 4-4
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15 pm

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