Postnatal Subacute Benzo(a)Pyrene Exposure Caused Neurobehavioral Impairment and Metabolomic Changes of Cerebellum in the Early Adulthood Period of Sprague-Dawley Rats

Chunlin Li, Jing Wang, Qiuping Su, Kai Yang, Chengzhi Chen, Xue Jun Jiang, Tingli Han, Shuqun Cheng, Tingting Mo, Ruiyuan Zhang, Bin Peng, Yuming Guo, Philip N. Baker, Baijie Tu, Yinyin Xia

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is a widespread environmental contaminant that has been associated with neurotoxicity in mammals. It has strong toxic effects on the developing central nervous system. Cerebellum is associated with locomotor activity and anxiety behavior, but there is very little research about the toxic effects of BaP in cerebellum. The present study aims to investigate the global influence of BaP subacute exposure on the metabolome of rat cerebellum. Male neonatal rats (postnatal day 5) were divided into two groups: control group and BaP-treated group (2 mg/kg/day for 7 weeks). Open field test and transmission electron microscopy were performed to analyze neurobehavior and ultramicrostructure alteration. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to analyze metabolites of the cerebellum in both groups. The results revealed that postnatal exposure to BaP promoted pathological changes in the cerebellum and increased locomotor and anxiety activities in early adulthood. Twenty differential significant metabolites were identified by multivariate statistical analysis. Further metabolic pathway impact analysis and network analysis suggested that the primary metabolic pathways affected included pathway involved in energy metabolism, methionine and cysteine metabolism, and glutathione metabolism. These findings suggest that BaP-induced cerebellum injury may be correlated with metabolic changes and provide an area to target to reduce the negative effects of BaP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-823
Number of pages12
JournalNeurotoxicity Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Cerebellum
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Metabolomics
  • Neonatal rat

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