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Male Wistar rats wearing chronically implanted cortical electrodes were exposed to Mn-containing nanoparticles via the airways for 8 weeks following a 2-week pre-exposure period. The rats’ cortical electrical activity and open field motility was recorded simultaneously, in weekly repetitions. It was supposed that this technique can provide better insight in the development of Mn-induced CNS damage. Decreased motility (less distance covered, longer periods of immobility) and increased total power of cortical electrical activity developed in parallel in the first 4–5 weeks of treatment but showed little change afterwards. Both the behavioral and the electrophysiological effect were in fair correlation with the rats’ internal Mn exposure determined from brain samples. The results confirmed the non-linear dose- and time-dependence of Mn effects suggested by previous studies. Repeated simultaneous behavioral and electrophysiological recording during a longer treatment with neurotoxic metals (or other xenobiotics) seems to be a promising method.

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Arsenic affects large populations and attacks, among others, the nervous system. Waterborne or occupational exposure causes electrophysiological alterations and motor disturbances in humans, and analogous effects were found in animals. Certain phytochemicals may be protective against As-caused damages. In the present study it was investigated whether the flavonoid rutin, applied via the drinking water (2 g/L), ameliorates the effects of arsenic given by gavage (10 mg/kg b.w., in form of NaAsO2) on open field motility, evoked cortical and peripheral electrophysiological activity, and body weight gain in adult male Wistar rats. Body weight gain was significantly reduced from the 4th week of the 6 weeks arsenic treatment and this effect was largely abolished by rutin in the combination treatment group. Rats treated by arsenic alone showed decreased open field motility; latency of the cortical evoked potentials increased and peripheral nerve conduction velocity decreased. These functional alterations were also counteracted by co-administration of rutin, and both the antioxidant and the chelating activity of rutin might have contributed to the ameliorative effect. These results are apparently novel and support the potential role of natural agents in preserving human health in a contaminated environment.

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