Neurochemical changes after acute binge toluene inhalation in adolescent and adult rats: A high-resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.
Neurotoxicology and Teratology (Impact Factor: 2.76). 08/2009; 31(6):382-9. DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed


Inhalant abuse in young people is a growing public health concern. We reported previously that acute toluene intoxication in young rats, using a pattern of exposures that approximate abuse patterns of inhalant use in humans, significantly altered neurochemical measures in select brain regions. In this study, adolescent and young adult rats were exposed similarly to an acute (2 x 15 min), high dose (8000-12,000 ppm) of toluene and high-resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR-MAS 1H-MRS) was used to assess neurochemical profiles of tissue samples from a number of brain regions collected immediately following solvent exposure. The current investigation focused on N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), choline-containing compounds, creatine, glutamate, GABA, and glutamine. Contrary to our predictions, no significant alterations were found in the levels of NAA, choline, creatine, glutamate, or glutamine in adolescent animals. In contrast to these minimal effects in adolescents, binge toluene exposure altered several neurochemical parameters in young adult rats, including decreased levels of choline and GABA in the frontal cortex and striatum and lowered glutamine and NAA levels in the frontal cortex. One of the more robust findings was a wide-ranging increase in lactate after toluene exposure in adult animals, an effect not observed in adolescents. These age-dependent effects of toluene are distinct from those reported previously in juvenile rats and suggest a developmental difference in vulnerability to the effects of inhalants. Specifically, the results suggest that the neurochemical response to toluene in adolescents is attenuated compared to adults, and imply an association between these neurochemical differences and age-influenced differences in solvent abuse in humans.

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