Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Christina Sobin


Behavioral markers of chronic low-level lead exposure in young mice were examined in the present study. Three groups of C57BL/6J mice (N = 35) were exposed from birth to PND 28 to one of three lead acetate levels: 0 ppm (control), 30 ppm (low-dose), or 330 ppm (high-dose). On PND 28, and immediately prior to sacrifice, mice were tested on the novel odor recognition task [(NODR) (memory task)], on the open field task [(OF) (exploratory behavior, habituation, and anxiety behavior task)], and on the nose poke task [(NP) (exploratory behavior task)]. Blood lead levels were analyzed with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). ANOVA and ANCOVA models were used to examine possible behavioral differences between groups. When significant differences between groups were found, general linear models were run to test for linear or quadratic associations between blood lead level and behavior. For the NODR task, the lead-exposed groups had diminished short-term olfactory recognition memory as compared to the control group. A simple regression analysis revealed a significant small negative association between blood lead level and memory. No significant quadratic association was found. For the OF task, the low-dose group had increased exploratory activity as compared to the other groups. No significant linear or quadratic associations between blood lead level and exploratory activity were found. No significant differences between groups were found for the NP task. Olfactory memory and exploratory activity are behavioral markers for the effects on brain of chronic exposure to low-level lead.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

96 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Mayra Gisel Flores Montoya

Included in

Psychology Commons