Behavioural effects in rats after prenatal exposure to dearomatized white spirit

Ulla Hass, Ole Ladefoged, H.R. Lam, G. Østergaard, S.P. Lund, L. Simonsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The purpose of the study was to investigate the potential developmental neurotoxicity of the widely used organic solvent, white spirit. Rats (Mol:WIST) were exposed to 0 or 800 ppm dearomatized white spirit for 6 hr per day on gestation days 7-20. Developmental and neurobehavioural effects in the offspring were investigated using a test battery including assessment of physical development, reflex ontogeny, motor function, motor activity and, learning and memory. No significant effects were recorded on motor function and the activity in Open Field. In the initial learning period (age 1 month), the performance in a Morris water maze was similar in exposed and control animals. When testing for memory at the age of 2 months, the exposed male offspring used more time to locate the hidden platform. After platform relocation, impaired cognitive function was revealed in the exposed females. At the age of 5 months, learning and memory deficits were observed in exposed offspring. The differences were not related to poorer swimming capabilities. because swim speeds were similar to control values. The results show that prenatal exposure to 800 ppm white spirit caused longlasting learning and memory deficits in rats.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPharmacology & Toxicology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)201-207
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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