Introduction: Toluene and toluene-containing volatile substances are the most widely abused solvents with demonstrative addictive potential in humans. Clinical and experimental studies have demonstrated that the exposure to toluene vapor leads to diverse consequences at the level ranging from the cell to the whole organism.
Methods: The present study has been undertaken to determine whether toluene chronic exposure provokes immediate and/or persistent effect on the structure of hippocampus, learning and memory in adolescent and adult rats. We exposed male Wistar rats at ages P 28-32 (adolescents) and P 150-160 (adults) to 2000 ppm inhaled toluene for 40 days. The immediate and persisting effects of toluene misuse (immediately after the end of toluene chronic inhalation and 90-day after the end of toluene chronic inhalation, correspondingly) on pyramidal cell loss in the CA1 and CA3 of the hippocampus and exploratory behavior and recognition memory in the open field were evaluated.
Results: The results reveal that toluene chronic exposure affects the structure of the hippocampus, exploratory activity and recognition memory in the open field in adolescent and adult rats. In all cases the effect is age-dependent.
Conclusions: In particular: in adolescent rats the more significant structural and behavioral alterations were observed immediately after toluene chronic exposure, while in adult rats the most considerable was persisting effect (90 days after withdrawal). Such data indicate that character of alterations depends upon the postnatal age of testing of the animals.
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Learning Objectives: addiction memory