Maternal isobutyl-paraben exposure alters anxiety and passive avoidance test performance in adult male rats.
Neurosci Res. 2009 Oct;65(2):136-40. Epub 2009 Jun 26. PMID: 19560493
Faculty of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Musashino University, 1-1-20 Shinmachi, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 202-8585, Japan.
Isobutyl-paraben (IBP), one of the most widely used preservatives, exhibits estrogenic activity. In this study, we analyzed the effects of maternal IBP treatment on the emotional behavior and learning performance in mature offspring. Pregnant female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with IBP via a subcutaneous Silastic capsule. Consequently, the offspring were exposed to IBP during gestation through the placentae, and before weaning through the milk. Male and female offspring were tested for emotional behavior in an open field and in an elevated plus maze at five and six weeks old, respectively. IBP-exposed male (but not female) rats spent less time in the open arms of the elevated plus maze. At 11 weeks old, all females were gonadectomized and treated chronically with 17beta-estradiol or cholesterol by Silastic capsules; all males were kept intact. They were tested for learning performance in a passive avoidance test and a Morris water maze. IBP exposure impaired the performance of males in the passive avoidance test. These findings suggest that male rats are more affected by early exposure to IBP than female rats. IBP affects their adult behavior including anxiety and learning abilities.