Neurotoxicological evaluation of long-term lanthanum chloride exposure in rats

Xiao He, Zhiyong Zhang, Haifeng Zhang, Yuliang Zhao, Zhifang Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


With their widespread application in industry, agriculture, medicine, and daily life, rare earth elements (REEs) are widely used in various fields and eventually accumulated in human body. Therefore, understanding the effects of REEs on health has become more and more important. In this work, the neurotoxicity of lanthanum (La) was evaluated. Wistar rats were exposed to lanthanum chloride through oral administration at 0, 0.1, 2, and 40 mg/kg doses from gestation day 0 through 6 months of age. Experiments were carried out to reveal the effects of La exposure on brain functions from four aspects including behavioral performance, [Ca2+]i level and the activity of Ca2+-ATPase (adenosine triphosphatase) in hippocampal cells, oxidative stress, and Nissl staining. Adverse effects were observed in 2 and 40 mg/kg dose groups and increased with dose. Morris water maze test showed that La exposure at 2 and 40 mg/kg could significantly impair the behavioral performance. (The preference for the target quadrant decreased by 16.6% and 19.4% versus control, respectively.) The neurotoxicological consequences demonstrated that the alteration in homeostasis of [Ca2+]i/ Ca2+-ATPase (the ratio of [Ca2+]i vs. Ca2+-ATPase activity increased by 44% in rats of 40 mg/kg group), the inhibition to activities of antioxidant enzymes, and the subsequent cell damage (18% and 23% cell loss in CA3 subregion of rats in 2 and 40 mg/kg group, respectively) might be involved in the neurological adverse effects of REEs exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-361
Number of pages8
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Intracellular free calcium
  • Lanthanum
  • Morris water maze
  • Nissl staining
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rare earth elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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