Objectives: Along these lines, we tested whether fetal E9 administration of thimerosal affects early development of serotonergic system.
Methods: Thimerosal (1 mgHg/kg in saline) was administrated by intramuscular injection into glutei maximi to E9 pregnant rats (day of insemination = E1), and then E15 fetus were dissected out. Embryonic brains were cut along the dorsal midline and mounted flatly (whole mount preparation), and were fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde. Development of serotonergic neurons was examined immunohistochemically using serotonin antibody.
Results: Dramatic increase of serotonin neurons of the lateral part of caudal cluster was observed in thimerosal group (n=7) compared to control (n=9) by 190% (Student’s t-test, p<0.01). Basic structure of raphe groups between thimerosal and control was not generally affected.
Conclusions: These results suggest that exposure to thimerosal at E9 affects early serotonergic development.
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