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  • 1 University of Szeged Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine Dóm tér 10 H-6720 Szeged Hungary
  • 2 Gedeon Richter Ltd. Department of Neuropharmacology P.O.B. 27 H-1475 Budapest Hungary
  • 3 University of Szeged Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Kossuth sgt. 40 H-6724 Szeged Hungary
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Young adult male Wistar rats were treated, by gavage, with 80 or 320 mg/kg Pb 2+ (lead acetate), 0.4 or 1.6 mg/kg Hg 2+ (mercuric chloride) or both by combining the lower doses. For combination with alcohol, ethanol was added to the rats’ drinking water in 5 v/v %. After 12 weeks of treatment, electrophysiological recording was made from the somatosensory cortex in urethane anaesthesia. Evoked potentials obtained by stimulation of the whiskers were recorded. Both metals, and alcohol alone, increased significantly the latency of the evoked response. Alcohol seemed to abolish the effect of Pb, but not of Hg. Fatigue, calculated form the response amplitude, was increased by Pb and Hg treatment and this effect of Hg was reduced by ethanol. Evoked activity and its dynamic characteristics were sensitive to the complex neurotoxic effect induced in the rats and can provide a basis for developing functional markers.

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