Hyperactivity and Brain Catecholamines in Lead-Exposed Developing Rats

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Science  07 Dec 1973:
Vol. 182, Issue 4116, pp. 1022-1024
DOI: 10.1126/science.182.4116.1022


Newborn rats that suckled mothers eating a diet containing 4 percent lead carbonate display hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and excessive stereotyped behavior starting at 4 weeks of age. There is an eightfold increase in the concentration of lead in brain, no change in norepinephrine, but a 20 percent decrease in dopamine relative to coetaneous controls. This suggests a relationship between central nervous system dysfunction due to lead and dopamine metabolism in brain.