Krishna et al. (Arch Toxicol 88(1):47-64, 2014) recently published the results of a study in which adult C57BL/6 mice were subchronically exposed to 400,000 μg/L manganese (Mn) using manganese chloride via drinking water for 8 weeks and examined the neurotoxic effects. After 5 weeks of Mn exposure, significant deposition of Mn in all of the brain regions examined by magnetic resonance imaging was detected. After 6 weeks of Mn exposure, neurobehavioral deficits in an open field test, a grip strength test, and a forced swim test were observed. Eight weeks of Mn exposure increased striatal 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (a serotonin metabolite) levels, but did not alter the levels of striatal dopamine, its metabolites and serotonin. Krishna et al. also reported significant increases in mRNA levels of GFAP (an astrocyte activation marker), HO-1 (an oxidative stress marker) and NOS2 (a nitrosative stress marker), and in protein expression level of GFAP in the substantia nigra pars reticulata after 8 weeks of Mn exposure. These results suggest that 400,000 μg/L Mn exposure via drinking water in mice induces neurobehavioral deficits, serotonergic imbalance, and glial activation accompanied by an increase in brain Mn deposition. The report by Krishna et al. is interesting because the studies on the neurobehavioral effect of Mn exposure by drinking water in mice are very limited. However, Mn concentrations previously reported in well drinking water (Agusa et al. in Vietnam Environ Pollut 139(1):95-106, 2006; Buschmann et al. in Environ Int 34(6):756-764, 2008; Hafeman et al. in Environ Health Perspect 115(7):1107-1112, 2007; Wasserman et al. in Bangladesh Environ Health Perspect 114(1):124-129, 2006) were lower than 400,000 μg/L.
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