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Environmental health perspectives

Some environmental contaminants influence motor and feeding behaviors in the ornate wrasse (Thalassoma pavo) via distinct cerebral histamine receptor subtypes.


PMID 16263506

Abstract

Common environmental contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides pose serious risks to behavioral and neuroendocrine functions of many aquatic organisms. In the present study, we show that the heavy metal cadmium and the pesticide endosulfan produce such effects through an interaction of specific cerebral histamine receptor subtypes in the teleost ornate wrasse (Thalassoma pavo). Treatment of this teleost with toxic cadmium levels for 1 week was sufficient to induce abnormal swimming movements, whereas reduced feeding behaviors were provoked predominantly by elevated endosulfan concentrations. In the brain, these environmental contaminants caused neuronal degeneration in cerebral targets such as the mesencephalon and hypothalamus, damage that appeared to correlate with altered binding levels of the three major histamine receptors (subtypes 1, 2, and 3). Although cadmium accounted for reduced binding activity of all three subtypes in most brain regions, it was subtype 2 that seemed to be its main target, as shown by a very great (p < 0.001) down-regulation in mesencephalic areas such as the stratum griseum central layer. Conversely, endosulfan provided very great and great (p < 0.01) up-regulating effects of subtype 3 and 1 levels, respectively, in preoptic-hypothalamic areas such as the medial part of the lateral tuberal nucleus, and in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. These results suggest that the neurotoxicant-dependent abnormal motor and feeding behaviors may well be tightly linked to binding activities of distinct histamine subtypes in localized brain regions of the Thalassoma pavo.